Thursday, 12 July 2012

Elderflower cordial

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We recently decided that we should start playing tennis since we have 2 tennis courts just a 3 mins walk away. One early Sunday morning we made our way there and noticed that there were 2 Elderflower trees just beside the court! I've been looking out for them here in the UK ever since we saw so many whilst we were on holiday in Slovenia. So I was pleasantly surprised to find them here, away from the roads, a good thing as I've read that it's not such a good idea to pluck those by the roadside since they are contaminated with the petrol fumes.
After a good hour of playing tennis for the first time in years, we quickly plucked some elderflowers and made our home. Believe me when i say that I ached like no one's business for the next few days! Gosh! I haven't ached like that in ages!!
I immediately search for recipes once we got home and for once, I actually had all the ingredients for some impromptu cordial making including citric acid! Something my hubby bought when we visited Brixton market recently. 
This takes 24 hours to brew before it's ready so don't be too impatient!
Ingredients (Adapted from the Good Food Channel)
20 small heads of elderflower
500g caster sugar
750ml water
1 unwaxed lemon
30 g citric acid

1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl. (I soaked the elderflowers for a bit to clean it a bit more but beware that some of the flavour will be wasted when the water is poured away)
2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup, and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and then leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
4. Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with muslin , and pour into sterilized glass jars/bottles. Screw on the lids and pop into the cupboard ready to use. Keep in the refrigerator once opened.

Note: I sterilized the jars by washing them in hot soapy water and placing them in a 120deg oven to dry. Thanks to Dish Piglets and Mondomulia for the tips via Twitter!


  1. The photos look beautiful and I would be curious to know what it tastes like! What an original idea! Thanks for the mention! ;)

    1. Thanks Giulia! It taste much like the ones you find it supermarkets but mine tasted a little more lemony. Very refreshing though!

  2. How interesting! I had to check what elderflower in dictionary, but even in Japanese I don't know this flower. What a interesting drink recipe! I'd love to taste this. Sounds very delicious!

    1. Oh, I think it can be found more easily in this part of the world. They sell the cordial in supermarkets here too so you might be able to find it over there? hopefully?

  3. This is sad. We use to have elderberries lining the front of our rent house back in college. The blooms were beautiful as you show perfectly in your pictures. We did nothing with them and now we don't live in elderberry country! I wish I had had this recipe back then! It sounds wonderful and I can imagine the flavor. Beautiful cordial and gorgeous pictures!!!!

  4. I know that elderberry is very good medicine as cough syrup! First time I see the flowers if they are of the same plant

  5. Looks really great. I just love elderflower cordial


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