Monday, July 15, 2013

Elderflower Cordial

Last week, the kids and I decided to make Elderflower Cordial.  We have a lot of elderberry bushes around were we live, but the season for the flowers is rather short, and so it was time to harvest.  One day, Dylan and I drove up to the top of the lane with our bags and scissors.  We spent about half and hour filling our bags full to the top with elderflower heads. Once we were home, the kids spent a long time flaking the flowers off of the stems.  They listened to a sermon on "laziness" whilst they did this, which I thought was pretty funny! 


We froze all those fragrant flowers that we had harvested in little zip-loc bags.  *Warning* If you are using elderflowers that have been frozen, you must use them immediately after taking them out of the freezer - five minutes or more at room temperature, will turn your flowers from snow-white to brown!  As you can see from our pictures this happened to us, and even though they did look ugly, they still smelt beautiful! 

Most of the flowers off the bushes are now gone; ready for the elderberries later on in the year, but we managed to save quite a lot in our freezer.  Most of what we saved will be used in jam making, but I guess we still might make just one more batch of cordial this year.


 **I Adapted This Recipe From Here**

20 Elderflower Heads
1.8 kg Sugar
1.2 litres Water
1 Un-waxed Lemon
75 g Citric Acid

1. Collect approximately 20 heads of elderflowers (leaving the flowers on the heads will save you heaps of time - we flaked ours off, as I thought I'd only be using mine for jam).  Inspect them carefully and "de-bug" if necessary! 

2. Put the sugar and water into a large pan and bring it up to the boil, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved.

3. While the sugar syrup is heating, slice off the zest of the lemon in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers.  Slice the lemon, (discarding the ends) and add the slices to the bowl.

4.  Once the syrup begins to boil, take it off the heat immediately and pour over the flower/lemon mixture.  Next stir in the citric acid.  Cover with a clean cloth and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

5. Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with a butter muslin, cheese cloth or an old clean tea-towel.  Allow to cool slightly and pour very carefully into glass bottles and cap.  Store in a cool, dark place.  The original recipe did not state how long this cordial keeps for , but a quick search on the internet revealed that many people keep their cordial for months, and even 1-2 years without any deterioration in quality or taste.  I guess we'll just have to wait and see - but I doubt my cordial will last that long!

In my batch I added two lemons (as per the original recipe),
this was far too much!  I took half the slices out within an hour or two.
Other reviews of the same recipe stated the same thing. 

One lemon really will be plenty!

Perfect On A Hot Summers Day!


Kerri said...

Fascinating! I've never tried anything like that, what does it taste like?

Sarah in Ireland said...

Kerri ~ It tastes so good! The flavour of the elderflowers comes out very nicely and the lemon gives it a little "zing". :)

It is a very refreshing drink! We have drank our way through one bottle already. It is quite sugary though, so I will be more sparing with it in future.