Elderflowers and a Cordial Recipe

Elderflowers and a Cordial Recipe - blog post image
BY Julia Thum | 0 Comment(s)

Elderflowers are one of nature's finest edible treasures and for me, the signature wild food of early summer. In my book, The Witches Punchbowl, elder trees

confer magical and healing powers. Here’s a clip - “The name Elder originates from the anglo saxon for fire. Every bit of the tree can be used for medicine; the berries are full of vitamins C, the leaves soothe inflammation, the flowers make tea to treat coughs, the bark is a laxative. “


This is the time of year to make elderflower cordial. Pick the flowers first thing in the morning before the insects rob all the flavoursome pollen but don’t get too carried away. If you strip the trees of reachable blossoms in summer, there will be no elderberries come autumn and they make excellent wine, chutneys, jams and vinegar.

I thought I’d include a recipe for elderflower cordial but please ask your parents and don’t make this alone as there is a bit of boiling to do for which you will need adult supervision:-

You need about 10 heads to make 2 litres of cordial.

What you’ll need:

10 fresh elderflower heads with most of the green stalks trimmed

1kg white sugar - granulated or caster

1 litres of water

1unwaxed lemons

40g citric acid (ask at any chemists)


Take a large pan and add the sugar and water and gently heat, stirring occasionally until the sugar has dissolved. Meanwhile, using a potato peeler, strip the zest from the lemons and slice them into thick rounds.

When the sugar-water is just at boiling point (a gentle roll for a few seconds), switch it off and add the elderflower, lemon zest, lemon rounds (squeezing lightly as you do) and the citric acid. Stir a few times and then cover and leave for 24 hours.

Finally, after the cordial has infused overnight, strain it through a muslin and pour into sterilised bottles. These can be plastic or glass and just need running through a dishwasher on a high temperature setting.

The cordial will keep for up to three weeks in the fridge.




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