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3rd June 2018

Elderflower Cordial or Bubbles!

Elderflower Cordial is a summer delight so don’t miss the moment!

The sweelty scented creamy-white flower of the elder tree are appearing now in abundance.  The fresh flowers make a wonderful cordial so rather than pay through the nose for a bottle, why not make your own and if feeling even more industrious I have included a special  Elderflower Champagne Recipe which is great for a summer garden party or even a wedding!

Collecting the Flowers

The Flowers are best gathered just as the tiny buds are beginning to open and some are still closed.  Gather on a warm dry day not when it is damp or wet checking the perfume is fresh.  (do not pick all as some will be needed for Elderberry juice/wine later in the year – Octobers Blog!)

ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL

What you need-

30 Elderflower heads 

1.5 kg of sugar

4 Unwaxed Lemons

1 large tsp citric acid 

1.5 Litres of water

Sterilised bottles with either swing-tip lids or sterilised screw top or corks

Place the sugar and water in a large peserving pan (that will fit in the fridge) then peel your lemons with a peeler (try to avoid the pith) add lemon peelings and juice to the pan.

Bring the sugar and water to the boil stirring constantly and simmer for a couple of minutes.

Remove from heat, stir in the citric acid and leave to cool.

Once cooled add the Elderflower heads to the water (inspect and shake the heads carefully to remove any bugs)

Then cover with cling film and place in the fridge for 4 days, stirring each day.

Now strain the liquid through a plastic sieve lined with muslin and pour into bottles and seal.

Serve diluted with ice cold sparkling or still water or undiluted to fruit salads or mix with sparkly wines or champagne but the best is a cocktail called a ‘Sparkle’ .

ELDERFLOWER CHAMPAGNE

What you will need –

1 Lemon

30-40 Elderflower heads (picked on a sunny day when in full bloom)

500g sugar

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

4.5litres of cold water

Screw Cap Bottles ( sterilised)

Squeeze the lemon juice into a large bowl then peel and cut up the rind.

Add the Elderflowers, sugar, vinegar and water to the bowl.

Mix well then pour into screw top bottles.

Leave for 24hrs stirring at intervals

Loosen the screw top a couple of times until you hear a ‘wooshing’ sound, now it is ready!

Then store in the fridge, this will keep up to six months but I think it tasted better 1 week later.

Enjoy

The Elderberry Tree – ‘Sambucus nigra’

All parts of the elderberry have been used for centuries for medicinal and culinary purposes – to make jam, pies, jellies, juice and elderberry wine (taken hot it is said to relieve colds and act as a tonic.)
The common elderberry grows wild and also makes an attractive small tree or large shrub if carefully swapped and trimmed.
Elderberries tolerate a wide range of soil conditions but grow best in well-drained soils.
Cross-pollination increases fruit production, there fore two or more cultivars should be planted in close proximity.  The elderberry will grow very large if left to its own devices.
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