Elderflower Cordial & Cocktails
To follow on from our general blog about all things Elderflower, I wanted to share my recipe for cordial. It is such a lovely thing to drink in the summer and is an amazing ingredient to have in your store cupboard. Also we are offering the chance to win some Elderflower goodies, scroll to the bottom for details.
The gorgeous white flowers of the Elder are everywhere at the moment and it seems a shame to waste them. Although the ones we don’t turn into cordial will grow into berries for later in the year so please don’y pick them all. The general foraging rule is to take only up to twenty percent of anything from one plant but that does not matter as the Elder is everywhere so you could find enough for gallons of cordial without going far.
You can find many recipes for Elderflower cordial on the internet and in my experience (I made 9 versions) they are all good. I think it is probably impossible to ruin Elderflower Cordial so everyone should give it a go. I have learned a few helpful hints though:
- Picking the Elderflowers at the right point makes a big difference to the aroma of the cordial. They should be in full bloom. This is obvious from the way they smell and the colour. Once they start to turn yellow or have little black bits they are not nearly so good.
- Adding citric acid definitely helps to preserve the cordial. If you are just making a small amount and will drink it quickly then you don’t need to bother. Some people freeze it but you need a generous freezer. For larger amounts of cordial it is worth the effort of getting citric acid. I ordered mine online, it was cheap and arrived in two days, not much bother really.
- You do not need to wash the flowers before adding the syrup. I believe this washes away the pollen which is where a lot of the flavour is. The liquid will be strained at the end and this removes all the bugs so washing is not necessary.
- I am a fiend for sugar but found many recipes to be too sweet. The majority use a one to one ration of sugar to water, just like basic sugar syrup. I have halved the sugar and find the cordial much lighter and better for making cocktails.
Once you have some lovely cordial there are tons of ways to enjoy it. You can make a raft of desserts by adding it to cream, poaching liquor, frosting, or cake mixes. I recently used it for an orange and Elderflower jelly which was a really yummy and refreshing way to end a meal.
Elderflower cordial is fabulous with fruit. Oranges and strawberries are my personal favourites and I reckon a fruit punch with Elderflower would be really tasty.
My current favourite use for Elderflower cordial is with gin, mint, lime and a splash of tonic or sparkling water. Just muddle the mint and mix everything together with plenty of ice. It makes a lovely refreshing cocktail while you put the finishing touches to dinner.
The Anglo-Peruvian Elderflower Pisco Sour is also really good. Just swap the sugar syrup in a classic Pisco Sour recipe for Elderflower Cordial and let the pisco do its work. Just one for me while cooking or dinner will never happen!
Elderflower Cordial Recipe
- 20 large Elderflower heads, if they are all small pick more you can’t have too many
- 2 limes
- 500g sugar
- 1.2 litres water
- 1 heaped tsp citric acid
- Gently heat the sugar and water in a pan to dissolve the sugar
- Add the citric acid and stir to dissolve
- Meanwhile, put the Elderflower heads in a bowl with the sliced limes
- Pour the liquid over the flowers and limes. The water should be hand hot not boiling
- Cover and leave for 20-24 hours
- Strain with muslin or a clean cloth and store in sterilized bottles
It is easy, cheap and tasty. I hope I never need to buy cordial again. I currently have 4 litres in stock but my family is greedy (for Pisco Sours!) so the Elder trees out back may get raided a few more times.
Want to win some of our lush Elderflower Cordial and a jar of our homemade Elderflower Curd? Enter our competition!
You can enter in all the 3 ways below:
- Leave a comment – share your thoughts on the recipe, any good tips and your blog link (if you have one!)
- Follow us on twitter (@Recipe4Gluttony) and tweet this: “Check out this Elderflower Cordial #recipe on new food blog @Recipe4Gluttony https://arecipeforgluttony.wordpress.com/2013/07/03/elderflower-cordial-and-cocktails-and-competition/“
- Follow our facebook page and share any update from us
Sorry to all our friends in far flung places but we can only offer this to UK residents.
Competition closes midnight Tuesday 9th July and we will announce the winner on Wednesday!