This sweet, little flower grows in hedgerows and woodland and flowers at the beginning of the summer. It also makes a wonderful, refreshing cordial. The best time to forage for these is on a warm day when the flowers are dry, never when they're wet from the rain or any other water. They are also best collected when some of the flowers haven't quite opened fully.
Always remember! Only take what you need and leave some for insects and to mature into berries later on.
You will need:
- About 20-25 Elderflower heads
- 1.5 litres of water (boiled when needed)
- The zest of three unwaxed lemons
- 150 ml of lemons juice
- 1kg sugar
- Make sure you shake the heads to remove any little insects.
- Trim as much of the green stalks away as you can.
- Place in a large pan / bowl with the lemon juice
- Bring the water to the boil and pour over the flower heads and lemon juice.
- Cover and leave to infuse overnight.
- The following day, strain the mixture into a clean pan (preferably through a muslin cloth. But, if you don't have any muslin, strain through a very fine sieve.
- Heat the liquid up gently and stir in the sugar.
- Once dissolved, allow to simmer for a few minutes further.
- Pour into sterilised bottles. I've used a flip-top bottle, but you can also use a corked bottle or a screw cap
- As a refreshing drink: Dilute 50 / 50 and add a slice of lemon (optional)
- As simple syrup for cakes: For every one, boiling cup full, add a further half a cup full of sugar - It would usually be a 50/50 mix, but there is already 50% of the sugar in the liquid when made into a cordial
- Fruit salad dressing: Add a dash of undiluted liquid to your fruit salads
- Don't forget, Ice Lollies! Dilute 50 / 50 then freeze