Refreshing Elderflower Cordial
Elderflowers have been known to have antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, good for helping to relieve symptoms of colds and flu, sinus infections and respiratory disturbances. This cordial is packed full of Vitamin C which helps boost the immune system. Sugar is needed to sweeten the cordial but you can replace it with raw honey and experiment with natural unrefined sugars making it much healthier than shop bought cordials. Nutrition is so important, but the health benefits of being in nature and harvesting your own flowers for a homemade cordial can be very relaxing and beneficial for the nervous system.
Some helpful tips:
- Elderflower can be easily confused with other flowers at this time of year, look for a scruffy looking shrub or tree that grows in woodlands and hedgerows, the flowers are flat-topped clusters of tiny creamy white flowers that appear in late May / June and the leaves are feather-shaped with 5 or seven leaflets arranged opposite each other with one at the tip.
- The flowers should have a sweet smell and the little white flowers fully opened and not starting to wilt or turn brown.
- Always use them as soon as possible after picking.
- Try not to pick from busy roadsides and polluted areas
Serves To make 1litre bottle (double up if needed)
Prep time 5 mins - plus foraging time.
Cook time 30 mins - plus 4 hours infusion time.
- 6 large heads of Elderflower in full bloom
- 1 unwaxed lemon, sliced
- 1 litre filtered water
- 2 cups of sugar of your choice
- Check the flower heads for any little bugs or dirt and remove them. It’s best not to wash the flowers but you can give them a rinse if you would prefer.
- Place the flowers in a large pot.
- Slice the lemon and add to the pot.
- Add 1 litre of water and bring to the boil, stirring occasionally.
- Once boiling, turn off the heat and leave to infuse for at least 4 hours, or even better overnight.
- Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth to catch all the small flowers and squeeze out all the delicious flavour from the pulp.
- Return the liquid to the pot and add the sugar.
- Bring to the boil stirring until the sugar has dissolved and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Sterilise a 1 litre glass bottle with boiling water and then pour the cordial into the bottle and leave to cool.
- Refrigerate once cool and use within 1 week.
- Best served with sparkling mineral water, dilute to taste.
- Perfect for a hot summer’s day.