Ahh, at last, summer seems to finally be here!! I love Britain in the summer time. This weekend I spent my Saturday afternoon drinking Pimms in Saint James’ park, which was packed full of people and the most wonderful atmosphere. Everyone was in a good mood and feeling sociable. I got the opportunity to wear one of my dresses! I have quite an obsession for buying pretty dresses… I just love them! They are my weakness when out shopping. I usually feel a bit guilty about buying them though because I rarely get a chance to wear them, but now the sun is out I can wear one everyday! Horray!!
To me summer means three things; dresses, Pimms, and Elderflower Cordial. I have the dresses (although I could always do with a few more…), Pimms is currently half price in Morrisons and can also be purchased ready mixed in a can (genius!), and the Elderflowers are in full bloom – time to make the cordial! So, this morning I went for a wee stroll in the woods armed with my reusable Tesco bag and a pair of scissors and set about capturing the British summer and putting it in a bottle.
I implore you all to have a go at making some because it is so cheap and easy to make, in fact I will make it even easier by giving you the recipe I use and advice for making it! Yeah! Don’t say I never give you anything :-p
To make the cordial you will need:
- 1 kg of white granulated sugar
- 1.5 litres of boiling water
- 55 grams of citric acid (this can be bought at your local pharmacy for about £1)
- 4 unwaxed lemons
- Approx 20 Elderflower heads (if they are small, pick more. They are best picked when the sun is on them and they mustn’t have brown blossoms, as this can foul the cordial).
- Put the sugar in a large bowl or saucepan and cover with the boiling water. Stir until sugar is completely dissolved. Leave to cool.
- Meanwhile, prepare the elderflower heads by shaking them to remove any creepy crawlies, and pinch off any blossoms that look a bit brown. Cut off the large green stalks, but don’t worry about the finer ones that hold onto the little clumps of blossoms.
- When the sugar and water mix is cool add the citric acid, the elderflower heads, and the lemons (zested and sliced).
- Cover and leave to steep for about 48 hours.
- Once ready strain twice through sterilised muslin (you can sterilise them by scalding them with boiling water)
- Using a funnel decant the strained cordial into sterilised bottles and seal immediately to keep from spoiling.
Store the cordial in a cool, dry place out of the sunlight. It’s best kept in the fridge and as long as the bottles have been sterilised properly it should last a good few months. I personally prefer to keep just one bottle in the fridge and freeze the other bottles so that they keep for longer. The cordial should be drunk within a few days as otherwise it will start to ferment and can make you a bit tiddly! giggle! Dilute to taste with fizzy water and plenty of ice. Yum!
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions, I will be happy to help 🙂
Happy cordial making folks! Slurp!