Monday, 24 June 2013

Adventures in cordial making

The elderflowers are on the trees for such a short time, about three weeks in total, and as a lovely friend of mine has an Elder tree at the bottom of her garden, we decided to take advantage and try our hands at making elderflower cordial.  

The process is as easy as pie and so satisfying; we're already talking of it becoming an annual tradition!  If you fancy having a go (and I thoroughly recommend you do!), here's how we did it....

Firstly, using slightly wonky scaffolding, we picked around seventy heads of flowers.  They had a good wash to remove any bugs or debris and placed into a very large pan.  

We added the zest of eight lemons and then chopped the lemons into thick slices and this all went in the pot with the elderflowers.  

In a separate pan, we disolved two kilos of sugar (yes, poor teeth!) to three litres of boiling water and poured it over the elderflower / lemon mix along with 100g citric acid (available from lots of online shops), covered it with a lid and left it overnight.  The smell when the hot water hits the elderflower and lemons is wonderful!  

I forgot to take any photos the next day but it was very simply a case of removing all of the lemon pieces and large elderflower stalks from the water, then straining the remaining mix through muslin into a large jug to be poured into sterilised bottles.  
It will keep in the fridge for a couple of months and can be frozen if you want to keep it for longer. 

It is really tasty mixed with just still or sparkling water but is utterly delicious when mixed with gin and soda water!  

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