I love this time of the year and I get really excited about making this at the end of May when all of the elderflower heads are about to open. You need to wait until the flowers are completely out and choose heads bursting with the little white flowers. If you’re worried about identifying the bush from other similar white flowering ones then smell the flowers and you will know instantly – elderflowers have a very distinct sweet smell.
It can get a bit sticky whilst you’re making it but it’s well worth it and the cordial will last for up to a year in the fridge. It can sometimes be quite hard to find citric acid so I always bulk buy packs from my local chemist (it flies off the shelves at this time of the year so make sure you get it when you see the first elderflowers).
Elderflower Cordial Recipe
Makes about 2 litres of cordial
- 25 elderflower heads
- 1.5 kg granulated sugar
- 1.5 litres water
- 3 lemons
- 50g citric acid
1. Add the sugar to the water and bring to the boil to dissolve, then cool.
2. Slice the lemons thinly and place in a large bowl.
3. Add the elderflower heads and citric acid and pour the cooled syrup on top.
4. Cover the bowl and leave it in a cool area overnight.
5. Strain through the muslin and decant into sterilised* bottles.
*I put my bottles through a hot dishwasher cycle to sterilise.