What could be better in the summer than giving friends good, homemade refreshments? Many people put great effort into the food they cook for friends or family, but buy the drinks they serve. Elderflower cordial is easy to make and will impress your guests – although sitting by yourself with a glass is just as good!
- 2 1/2 kg white sugar, either granulated or caster
- 2 unwaxed lemons
- 20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
- 85 grams citric acid (from chemists)
- 1 1/2 litres water
- Put the sugar and the water into a large saucepan. Gently heat and stir until the sugar has dissolved.
- Take zest from the lemons using a potato peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.
- Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the pan of syrup to the boil, then turn off the heat.
- Wash flowers in a bowl of water and add them to the syrup, along with lemons, zest and citric acid, then stir well in pan. Cover the pan and leave for 24 hours.
- Line a colander with a clean tea towel and place it over a large bowl or pan.
- Ladle in the mixture slowly and discard the bits left in the towel. Use a funnel and a ladle to fill sterilised bottles.
- The cordial is ready to drink but will keep in the fridge for up to six weeks. You can also freeze it in plastic containers or ice-cube trays and defrost when you wish.