Elderflower is a delicate and aromatic blossom that grows on the elder tree, scientifically known as Sambucus nigra. These tiny, creamy-white flowers bloom during the late spring and early summer, filling the air with their sweet and captivating fragrance. Elderflower is widely appreciated for its culinary and medicinal uses. In the kitchen, it is often used to infuse drinks, syrups, and desserts with its unique floral flavor. Medicinally, elderflower is known for its potential immune-boosting and anti-inflammatory properties, and it has been used traditionally to treat colds, flu, and respiratory ailments. With its beauty, fragrance, and versatility, elderflower continues to be cherished and celebrated in various cultures around the world.
Elderflower cordial is a fragrant and refreshing drink that captures the essence of summer in a bottle. Made from the delicate blossoms of the elderflower plant, this cordial is known for its floral aroma and subtle sweetness. It is a versatile ingredient that can be enjoyed on its own by diluting it with water, or used as a flavor enhancer in cocktails, desserts, and fruit salads. The process of making elderflower cordial involves steeping the elderflower heads with sugar, lemon, and citric acid to extract their natural flavors. The result is a delightful and vibrant cordial that is perfect for sipping on warm days or adding a touch of elegance to any culinary creation.
- 20-30 fresh elderflower heads
- 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) granulated sugar
- 1.5 liters (50.7 fl oz) boiling water
- 2 lemons, zest and juice
- 50 grams (1.8 oz) citric acid (available at most pharmacies)
- Clean glass bottles with lids/corks
- Begin by inspecting the elderflower heads, removing any insects or debris, but avoid washing them as this will remove the natural flavor.
- Place the elderflower heads in a large mixing bowl and add the lemon zest.
- In a separate container, dissolve the sugar in the boiling water, stirring until completely dissolved.
- Pour the sugar syrup over the elderflower heads and lemon zest. Add the lemon juice and citric acid, and gently stir the mixture.
- Cover the bowl with a clean cloth or plastic wrap and let the mixture steep for 24-48 hours, preferably in a cool place.
- After the steeping period, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve or muslin cloth to remove the elderflowers and lemon zest. Discard the solids.
- Sterilize the glass bottles by washing them in hot, soapy water, rinsing well, and then placing them in an oven at 120°C (250°F) for 10-15 minutes.
- Carefully pour the strained elderflower cordial into the sterilized bottles while still hot.
- Seal the bottles with the lids or corks while the cordial is still warm. This will create a vacuum seal to prolong shelf life.
- Store the elderflower cordial in a cool, dark place, such as a pantry or refrigerator, and consume within 3-4 months.
- The cordial can be diluted with still or sparkling water for a refreshing drink. Adjust the ratio to suit your taste.
- Add a few fresh mint leaves or slices of cucumber for an extra twist of flavor.
- The cordial can also be used in cocktails, desserts, or drizzled over fruit salads for added sweetness and floral notes.
Enjoy the delightful taste of homemade elderflower cordial!