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Our elderflower bushes are in full bloom so perfect for making Elderflower cordial. Here's a recipe from N8Eat.com which is a great foodie blog I found on Twitter.
You will need
15 large heads (umbels) of elderflower
900g caster sugar (not granulated)
40g citric acid (available from Petter Pharmacy)
All your equipment must be scrupulously clean.
Boil the water. Slice the lemon thinly and put into a large bowl – Pyrex or glazed is best – along with the sugar, citric acid and elderflower heads. Pour over the boiling water and stir till the sugar has dissolved. That’s it! Now cover and place somewhere cool and dark for four days.
Using a clean spoon, taste…if it’s not quite strong enough (remember it’s a cordial so you will be diluting with water) leave for another day. Strain the finished liquor through a fine sieve/muslin and bottle. The cordial will keep well somewhere cool and dark. We like to keep a bottle for Christmas Day though most years this proves tricky. It is special, no shop bought come close, so savour. Dilute with water and ice or drink with vodka or vermouth.
I am very much in love with the idea of using what grows nearby to good purpose. Elder is just a big weed - I have spent hours cutting it down and rooting it out from crevices in brick walls when I lived in the country - the branches aren't even real wood - they break in your hands. Cut it back to a stump for even better crops the next year!
Crouch End Open studios served commercial slightly sparkling elder flower water at their launch the other evening and that was pretty good. I am sure home made will be better.
I still have a bottle of elderberry wine I made in 1986 in the basement. I think I added some vodka to it before bottling, so it may be well enough preserved to drink.