Elderflower is a true delight on the eyes and tastebuds. Her large, frothy, creamy-white blooms and delicate floral scent is unmistakeable as she heralds in sunnier days with joyous abandon.
‘SUMMER IS HERE!’ she cries ..and right now is the perfect time to try one of her delicious recipes yourself!
This Cordial couldn’t be easier to make! Delicious as a chilled, refreshing drink, with sparkling water, or better still, try adding a dash to your G&T or Prosecco!
So get foraging! Find yourself a blooming Elder tree. Do check carefully that you have the correct tree first. (See images.) Grab a large, fresh lemon, sugar, honey and a few optional miniature rosebuds. (Choi Time do delicious miniature damask buds.) Then spend a pleasant 20 minutes or so, creating some magic of your own! Once bottled up, head for the garden and pour yourself a glass or two!
Then who knows, in no time at all, you may be seeing more Wanton Fairies than you ever thought possible!
Makes 900ml approx
Preparation 20 mins approx.
Leave overnight or for 24 hrs in pan before bottling.
Once made, keep refrigerated. It should keep well for up to a month.
You will need:
20 opened Elderflower heads. Double up if you have an abundance, but do leave some to mature though, as Elderflower has more treats in store for you later in the year, with her glorious berries) ...and don’t forget, the birds will appreciate them too!
1 litre water
1 large lemon
500g granulated sugar
3 tablespoons honey
A few miniature
Elderflower blooms are best picked on a dry, sunny morning, well away from pollution of traffic
etc. (Take a pair of scissors and a basket or bag.) Avoid any unopened blooms or those on the turn.
Unless you (or a friend), are lucky enough to have a tree of your own, you will generally find Elder thriving amongst a fierce barricade of nettles and brambles, so
heading out with bare ankles isn’t a great idea!
*Having been thoroughly stung, I instinctively looked around for dock leaves to calm the pain and was relieved to spot a large patch close by. (They nearly always grow in close proximity).
Whether or not it’s an old wives tale, who knows, but it certainly still worked for me. A trip down memory lane with a spit on the leaf, then rub on the ankles, I was a child again, heading home with my bounty and pain free ankles!
Give the blooms a tap before you head home, to dislodge any insects reluctant to leave. It is best to begin making the cordial as soon after picking blooms as possible. There is no need to rinse.
Snip away the larger stems
Select a large enough pan with lid, to accommodate ingredients.
Pour in water
Add sugar, honey, lemon peel and juice from whole lemon.(Add miniature rosebuds -optional)Heat gradually until all sugar
Simmer very gently for 2-3 minutes.
Immediately add the elderflowers, making sure they are all well dunked in the syrup.
Immediately cover with lid and leave overnight or preferably for 24 hours.
Strain through muslin or a jelly bag, into a large bowl to avoid losing any of the precious syrup.
Pour into sterilised bottles. (The use of a funnel will help save accidental spills).
Refrigerate and enjoy!
Rose buds from: choitime.com
Beautiful coloured glass tumbler : lateafternoon.co.uk