Elderflower Heaven

Hello friends, I hope you are doing ok.

This month it’s all about appreciating what you have and what you can do rather than feeling down about what you can’t. This means still celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, births, weddings, or any other excuses for cake.

Nature in midsummer is doing its magical thing, even if some of our own plans are on hold. Bees and ladybirds are busy, flowers are blooming and there are strawberries to eat.

There are many things to forage and one of my favourites to make as spring turns to summer is Elderflower cordial. Such a quick and easy thing to make and totally delicious. Today I share with you how I make mine.

First find your hedgerow. Elderflowers burst forth in frothy posies from straggly tree-type bushes at this time of year and it’s easy to make Elderflower cordial for a little summer-in-a-glass.

Go out early on a dry sunny morning and carefully cut about 25 Elderflower heads. Lightly shake to ditch any insects but don’t wash the flowers, just trim off the stalks. Place the flower heads in a large pot with a lid.

Add the grated zest of 3 unwaxed Lemons and 1 Orange, set aside the juice. Boil 1.5 litres water and pour over the Elderflowers and Citrus zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.

Strain the liquid through a piece of muslin until it runs clear of any sediments and pour into a large saucepan. Add a kilo of sugar and the juice from the lemons and the orange. Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and gently cook for a few minutes.

Strain once more through a fresh piece of muslin and then pour into sterilised bottles and seal with lids. It will keep in the fridge for about 2 months.

Once cooled you can use. It is delicious when turned into a fizz: Just pour a small amount (about 2cm) into a glass, top up with sparkling water, add a couple of mint leaves and a slice of lime and enjoy this refreshing drink.

Enjoy, stay safe and well – until soon.

Heike xo

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