For the first time I am going to make Elder Flower Cordial
You can’t help but have noticed all the Elder flower plants growing wild on the roadside and in the hedgerows. Just in case you’re unsure of what they look like then here ya go….
If you leave the elder flower blossoms on the bush/tree they will ripen into berries from which you can make other stuff – like wine and Jam – and if I get the time, and there are any berries left on the bushes after I finished making cordial, huge quantities, I will show you how to use them later on in the year.
So what better use for them and a sunny afternoon but to make some refreshing Elder flower cordial.
I am lucky enough to live next to a wood which has Elder flower growing abundantly. So, my friend and I set about picking some flower heads to make a batch of Elder flower cordial. It’s surprisingly easy – effortless in fact.
You will need:
- Approximately 30 Elder flower heads (pick a few more than you’ll need)
- Scissors or garden shears
- A large blow
- 2½ kg of sugar – it can be granulated as you’ll be dissolving it in water anyway
- 2 large unwaxed lemons – Not just for flavour, they also preserve the cordial and keep the flowers from turning brown
- 50g Citric Acid – You can get this from a chemist
- 1.5 litres of boiling water
- A sieve or muslin cloth
- Bottles or jars to store it in
Here’s what we did and you’ll be bowled over by how simple this is:
We set about picking 30 or so of the largest flower heads, the ones where all the petite little flowers were fully open and there were no noticeable bugs or brown bits.
TIP- Make sure you take as little of the stalk as possible as the stalk can leave a bitter taste so remove the excess stalk when you add it to your bowl. Be careful, as these little flowers are full of a fine, dusty, yellow pollen that seems to cover everything it touches.
Put your flower heads into a bowl. TIP – Make sure your bowl will hold more than 1.5 litres of water as the sugar will dissolve into a syrup
Peel the zest from the lemons, cut them up and put them into the bowl with the flower heads. TIP – Don’t worry too much about this, as you’ll discarded the lemons before you bottle it
Dissolve the sugar and citric acid in 1.5 litres of boiling water and pour over the lemons and flower heads.
We covered ours with a tea towel and put it into the fridge for 48 hours, so everything could infuse. TIP make sure your tea towel doesn’t touch the liquid, as it will act as a sponge and the tea towel becomes soaking and drips sticky liquid EVERYWHERE!
A benefit of to making Elder flower cordial is that your kitchen is filled with heady sweet and summery
48 hours later we we strained it into another bowl ready to decant it into cooled sterilised glass bottles. TIP – You can sterilise them either by putting them into the dishwasher or the oven at 300°F/150°C until they are warmed through. You don’t have to use glass and there’s no reason why you cannot recycle a plastic bottle, just use boiling water to sterilise
And Ta dah! That’s all there is to it! Beautiful refreshing Elder flower Cordial! It’s insanely simple to make isn’t it? It keeps for up to 4 weeks in the fridge, although I doubt it will last that long. It would make a lovely gift to take for the host at summer barbeque.
Wondering how to use it?
Simply dilute it to taste with still or sparkling water, lemonade, toinc or a fruit juice such as cranberry juice. You can even use it as a sweetener by adding it to a lemon and ginger tea. If you fancy something more alcoholic, then use with the mixer of your choice and add to vodka, gin, peach schnapps or any of your favourite tipples. It will certainly add a little va va voom. If you’re feeling adventurous you could turn it into the ultimate luxury drink – Champagne. Warning Elder flower cordial mixed with alcohol goes down a treat, so be warned. On your head be it! – Ouch!
Cooking with Elder flower cordial
You can even make a delicate jelly, a creamy pannacotta, a vinaigrette, try adding it to a fruit salad for fragrant jus or how about making a wonderful Elder flower and Lemon Drizzle Cake. For all the aforementioned there’s a multitude of recipes out there, – if you’re short on time, you could checkout my Pinterest (links below) for some great ideas and exciting uses for your homemade Elder flower cordial. Go for it and add this to your culinary repertoire.
Considering this was the first time I have ever made anything with elder flower, I was surprised at how easy it was and what a delightful way to spend an afternoon. The only thing is, I found it incredibly sweet. So when I make my second batch perhaps I’ll reduce the sugar, or add more water.
Remedies and Health Benefits of Elder flower
It seems that Elder flower and Elder berries have been used for centuries as a remedy for many ailments such as the common cold, as it’s an excellent source of vitamins A, B, and C, it’s also been used to relieve an irritating cough as it’s thought to act as an anti-inflammatory. There are even claims that this plant could help boost your immune system, reduce cholesterol and improve heart health.
So folks, get picking and let me know how you use your Elder Flower Cordial. There’s loads of ideas on how to use your cordial on my Pinterest boards
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Bye for now and don’t forget to let me know how you got on.