So last week on a warm, dry day just as the tiny buds were beginning to open, we gathered some sweetly-scented flowers from the nearby Elder tree. Elderflower cordial is so simple to make and one of the most refreshing drinks of the summer – mix it with some soda water, or sparkling wine if you fancy
2½ kg white sugar, either granulated or caster
2 unwaxed lemons
20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
85g citric acid
Fill a bowl with cold water and give the flowers a gentle swish around to loosen any dirt or bugs.
Put the sugar and 1.5 litres of water into a large saucepan. Gently dissolve the sugar. Pare off the zest from the lemons using a potato peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.
Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat. Lift flowers out the cold water, gently shake and transfer to the syrup along with the lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well. Cover the pan and leave to infuse overnight.
Strain the liquid and fill sterilised bottles.
The cordial is ready to drink straight away and will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks. Or freeze it in plastic containers or ice cube trays and defrost as needed.