Recipe: Elderflower Cordial

Friday, July 22, 2011  at 6:58 AM
Elderflower Cordial is a sweet syrup, made from the flowers of an Elder tree, that can be mixed with water for a refreshing drink.  As a child, I often read about Elderflower Cordial in books but I never thought it was a real drink, much less one so easy to make!

Elderflower Cordial by Danalynn C
Bottle your cordial in an old glass bottle for added charm.

To make this cordial, you need about 25 heads of flowers from an Elder tree.  Elder trees flower in the Spring, often between April and June.  When you pick the flowers, shake them to remove any bugs and let them sit, laying down, on a counter for a period of time to allow any hidden bugs time to crawl out.  Avoid rinsing the flowers, as you will rinse off the natural yeast that gives the cordial a bit of fizz.  If you are not sure how to identify an Elder tree, read this useful article.

25 heads of Elder flowers
3L water
900g granulated sugar
50g citric acid
2 lemons

1. Boil the water and pour over the sugar.  Stir well to dissolve, then leave to cool.
2. Add the citric acid if you intend on storing the cordial instead of drinking it all immediately.
3. Slice the lemons and add them into the syrup.
4. Add the Elder flower heads, stir.
5. Stir the syrup occasionally over the next 24 hours.
6. Strain the syrup and place into sterilized glass bottles.  Glass bottles can be sterilized easily by running them through the dishwasher with no pre-wash setting and no detergent.
7. Store in the refrigerator.  To drink, mix one part syrup with five parts water.  Play around with the ratio--I tend to like more water with less syrup, but you might like it sweeter!
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