Or how to go from these beautiful blossoms
To these beautiful bottles
In a few simple steps
Summer is a few weeks behind and so the elderflowers are only just starting to bloom – we have a couple of elder trees down the bottom of the garden that I’ve been urging on to get their flowers out at a weekend so I don’t miss the chance to make elderflower cordial this year
On Sunday Littler and I headed down the garden armed with a big bowl and scissors and pruned the tree of its nicest flowers on the branches we could reach – fortunately, because we are both quite short, there was enough to fill our bowl without having to resort to balancing on a ladder!
Once you get your flowers rinse them in a colander to remove any stray bugs and bits (don’t worry, any you miss will get strained out later) and pop in a really large pan or bucket
Zest 6-8 lemons and pop the zest into a saucepan. Then halve the zested lemons and squeeze out all of the juice into the saucepan and throw the juiced lemon halves into your bucket
In the saucepan add roughly a kilo of sugar and a litre of water to your lemon juice and zest and bring gently to the boil whilst stirring to make sure the sugar is fully dissolved
Take off the heat and allow to cool down a bit
Add 3 litres of cold water to the bucket and pour in the sugar / lemon / water mix and give a jolly good stir
Pop on side, covered with a tea towel or a shower cap and leave for 24 hours
After 24 hours it should be smelling like elderflower cordial but better! Give it a stir and then strain through a muslin and into a clean jug
Pour through a funnel into sterilised bottles and then store in the fridge if you are going to drink this week or freeze for future use
You can add citric acid to help it last a bit longer but I prefer not to (and it does give it a more citric-y taste)
Dilute with water to taste and enjoy!