Elderflowers are everywhere at the moment! It does seem to be a good year for them and you can see these fragrant flowers almost everywhere.
So now is the time, and the season is quite short, to make elderflower cordial. It is really simple.
You will need about 30 or so flower heads. Snip the heads off with a pair of scisors leaving the minimum single stem on the plant. I picked mine early morning after overnight rain so they were fairly clean. Take them home in a carrier bag, then leave them out on a tray for a while to let any live critters walk out. Gently wash the heads if you need to, don't worry about the odd critter left, they will be strained out.
Boil 3 pints of water and pour over 2lbs white sugar in a saucepan. Stir until the sugar has disolved. Take 5 lemons, peel the zest off and strain the juice which you will set aside. Chop up the lemon pith and everything else and put in the sugar mix.
Place the elderflower heads into the sugar and lemon mix and give them a stir to mix. Cover and leave overnight for the flavour to develop. Overnight when the mixture has cooled, then add all the lemon juice and 2 spoons of citric acid. This helps preserve the cordial a bit longer and give it a good flavour. Stir in the citric acid until it has disolved in the syrup.
Strain the juice through a sieve and a muslin. You can use a jelly bag, or even some coffee filter paper if you like. You just need to strain out the flowers and perhaps some of the pollen to make the syrup a bit clearer.
Sterilise some bottles with boiling water and store the cordial in the fridge. It will last a couple of weeks. Dilute it to taste and enjoy!