It’s the perfect time to pick Elderflower (so I’ve been told!) This is my first experience of foraging, and I had such a buzz from making something that I’d found (for free!), picked and brewed. I’m also SURE that drinking it has helped my hayfever this year. A deliciously refreshing drink that’s so easy to make, lasts for ages and is great in a Gin and Tonic as well as on it’s own. Remember that this is a cordial and so will need to have lots of water added to it before drinking – sparkling water turns it in to a grown up refereshing non-alcoholic summer drink.
10 Elderflower heads (as in a big bunch of flowers per ‘head’)
Half litre water
2 x fresh unwaxed lemons
440g white caster sugar
40g Citric acid
1. Gently wash the elderflower heads under cold water to get rid of any creepy crawly nasties
2. Add the sugar to a pan with half a litre of boiling water and leave on a low heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved
3. Using a potato peeler, remove strips of zest from the lemons and add these to a large bowl or clean bucket, along with the elderflower heads.
4. Slice the lemons in to rounds and add these to the bowl along with the citric acid
5. Pour over the sugar, water fluid, give everything a really good stir, ensuring the flower heads are thoroughly submerged in the water
6. Cover with a clean cloth and leave at room temperature overnight (or for at least 14 hours)
7. Using a potato masher, press gently down on the flowers and the lemons to release some more lovely flavour
8. Cover the bottom of a sieve with a piece of muslin and then strain the liquid through this so that it runs clear without any bits
9. Pour the cordial in to clean bottles and store in the fridge for up to three weeks, or put in clean plastic bottles and freeze, where it will keep for around 3 months until defrosted