Elderflower cordial is a tradtional summer drink that is refreshing, natural and easy to make.
Elder flowers are found on Sambucus Nigra, European Elder / Black Elder bushes that are common in the British countryside, as well as parks, suburban woodland etc. They flower at the earliest at the end of May and the latest mid July.
Take 20 to 25 Elderflower heads on a dry day, preferably when the heads are just beginning to flower for maximum freshness.
Give them a good wash removing any insects, dust etc.
Place in a large pan.
Cut 4 lemons in halves and squeeze juice then place the lemons in the pan as well.
Add 1.5 litres of boiling water. Stir and cover, and leave overnight to diffuse.
The following day pour 1kg / 2 3/4 lb of sugar into the pan and heat and stir until all the sugar has dissolved.
Strain the liquid through muslin cloth or a fine sieve. into sterilised glass bottles and store in a cool dark place. It can also be put in a tub and stored in the freezer and scoop out when required.
The cordial can then be added 1 part cordial to 10 parts liquid. Sparkling mineral water will create a refreshing Elderflower soft drink, or it can also be added to sparking wine for a fruity summer alcoholic drink.