Making elderflower cordial is one of the highlights of late spring (and #30DaysWild). The distinctive aroma marks the start of elderflower season, and the delicate flowers are easy to recognise (though never let children forage alone for safety).
While most cordial recipes call for 25 or so heads of elderflower, I double this (or more) as I love a more intense elderflower flavour. The stalks can lead to bitter cordial so I strip the flowers from them using a fork for ease. It’s a meditative process that makes the kitchen smell wonderful.
I make the cordial by taste, simmering the elderflowers in enough water to easily cover them, then leaving the mix to steep overnight before straining and squeezing through old (clean!) tights, reheating and adding sugar (or honey) and lemon juice. I cheat by buying ready squeezed lemon juice but if you squeeze them yourself, you can also add lemon zest to enhance the flavour. Once the cordial has the right balance of sugar and lemon juice, I test it by diluting and tasting, then bottle and store in the fridge.
Collecting elderflowers is a fun way to spend time, and there’s something magical about turning flowers into a refreshing drink. And of course, you can always make elderflower champagne too…