20 large elderflower heads
2 lemons- rind and juice
2 pints boiling water
2 oz citric acid (available from Healing Thyme, Whitchurch High Street, SY13 1AZ www.healing-thyme.co.uk)
2 lb granulated sugar
1/2 Camden tablet*
Sterilised bottles (stand in oven for 10 minutes at a temperature of 140°C and use whilst warm.)
You will need 2 large clean 5 pint containers – one to make the cordial in and another to strain the cordial into.
Remove flower petals from elderflower heads (just rub the flowers off the stalks – it’s not critical if some stalks get in as well) and put in a bucket with rind and juice of 2 lemons.
Pour over boiling water and stir well.
Leave overnight to infuse.
Strain through a stocking held over a sieve or colander into the second bucket.
Add sugar and stir well.
Add citric acid, stir.
Leave 24 hours.
Bottle in screw top bottles.
And it’s ready to drink. To serve, dilute to taste.
Elderflower cordial tinkling with ice is the best summer drink ever – on rainy days you can close your eyes and imagine the sun shining on the elderflower petals, blackbirds serenading from the topmost branches, sunshine, rainbows and summer strawberries – the magical taste of summertime.
*For years I made Elderflower Cordial with this recipe with no problems, then, this year, it went fizzy. The solution is to add one Camden tablet per gallon which kills any wild yeast – thank you to www.ashridgetrees.co.uk for this solution.
For this recipe, add 1/2 crushed Camden tablet (dissolved in a small amount of hot water) per half gallon, stir, leave for an hour then stir again to make sure Camden tablet has dissolved properly, then bottle.
With no acids or tablets – 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Freeze in plastic bottles for longer storage.
With the citric or tartaric acid it will keep for 3-4 months in the fridge.
With the Camden tablets, elderflower cordial keeps almost indefinitely in a cool, dark place.