The elderflowers are back, and after last year’s success with elderflower champagne, I’m determined to make the most of this season’s bounty. The champagne is already on the go, but for more immediate satisfaction, I decided to try my hand at elderflower cordial.
I started with Sophie Grigson’s recipe on uktv.co.uk, a simple process of soaking elderflower in a mix of water, sugar, lemon, and citric acid, and then straining into sterilised bottles.
The citric acid was a mystery ingredient for me; I had to order mine online (Amazon to the rescue). I’ve heard you can buy it at chemists / pharmacists, but when I tried this, I was told that pharmacies no longer carry citric acid because it can be used to make naughty things!
I followed one of the suggestions posted on Sophie’s recipe to cut down the sugar and lemon so that the elderflower really stands out. The result was a full-flavoured cordial, quite tart, but with a really good hit of elderflower.
A few people asked where my cordial gets its colour from: I attribute its golden tint to the unrefined golden caster sugar I used. You could also use white granulated sugar, but I really like the bright bold colour of mine if I do say so myself!
I served the cordial with fizzy water at a bbq last night – a tasty treat for the kids and designated drivers, all of whom asked for seconds. Success!