Elderflowers are in season
I first came across elderflower cordial in the kitchen counter of a farmhouse near Škocjan Caves, Slovenia. I didn’t know what to do with it, but the name carried certain warmth and happiness. So when I saw them at my local farmers market last weekend. I decided to give it a try.
The process is actually quite simple. I went through several recipes online and settled on this one by Luisa.
25 heads of fresh elderflowers (about 2 cups of pedals)
6 cups (1.5 litre) water
5 cups (1 kg) of sugar
3-4 organic lemons
2 tablespoon citric acid
- Hold the flower head over a large bowl, gently shake off the blossoms and its pollen and pick the rest of blossoms off the stalk. (Discard the stalk, it’s toxic.)
- Thinly slice lemons into rounds and add them to the flowers.
- Put sugar and water into a saucepan. Gently heat, without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved. Give it a stir every now and again. Once the sugar has dissolved, bring the syrup to a boil, then turn off the heat. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Pour the liquid over flower and lemon mix. Cover with plastic wrap and leave it somewhere dark and cool to infuse for three to five days. Stir the mixture once a day.
- Strain the mixture through a fine-meshed sieve lined with cheesecloth or a paper towel into a large pot.
- Add citric acid and bring it to a brief boil.
- Fill couple of sterilized glass bottles with the hot liquid. Let it cool completed.
- Leave in dark and cool places for up to a year.
This recipe should yield 1.5 litres of elderflower cordial. You can use it to flavor cocktails, sparkling wine or water. I intend to use mine in desserts or ice creams to add a floral accent. I love the idea of preserving the aroma of the season.