If like me you like a cold, refreshing and non alcoholic drink, you probably like elderflower cordial.
You can buy it in the supermarket but it is quite expensive. If, however, you can get your hands on some elderflower heads at this time of the year (in the UK) then prepare yourself for a real treat. Be quick as they aren’t around for long!
1.7 litres/3 pints boiling water
900g/21b caster sugar
50g/2oz citric acid – available from online stores or chemists
2 unwaxed lemons
2 unwaxed oranges
You need to collect about 30 elderflower heads. I make sure that these are not growing by the roadside, so they are not contaminated by car pollution. Just snip them off near the flower, with not too much stalk.
You may want to give them a quick rinse, to get off any little insects.
Put 900g of caster sugar in a large bowl and pour in 3 pints (1.7litres) of boiling water. Stir and leave to cool.
Add the slices of lemons and oranges, the citric acid and finally the elderflower heads. Give it a stir and leave covered for 24 hours, stirring occasionally. You will be able to smell the elderflower fragrance almost immediately.
After 24 hours, strain the whole lot through some muslin and transfer to sterilised bottles.
Serve by diluting with water, sparkling water, or sparkling wine for a delicious cocktail.
I am going to pick some more to make some brilliant Elderflower Champagne and will give you the recipe soon. I made some last year, in June and we opened it at a family party we had in August. It was really fizzy and delicious.