It’s time again, the elderflowers are coming into bloom and we are making cordial. This is a tradition that began with me many years ago when my neighbor Jeremy arrived one day with a bag of elderflowers in one hand and his recipe for cordial in the other. I tried it out, got hooked and have been making it every year since. I’ve altered Jeremy’s recipe only slightly, adding rose petals to add a beautiful pink color. Be careful not to make the mistake I did the first year I made it. I didn’t realize the cordial would ferment if it was not kept in the fridge. I corked and stored a dozen bottles in our dispensa. A few weeks later I heard a very loud noise in there. Sure enough, all of the bottles had exploded and the thick, syrupy cordial was all over everything. What a mess! So be warned, make sure you keep the cordial in the fridge.
Elderflower Rose Cordial
20 elderflower heads
the petals from 2 or 3 unsprayed red roses
42 ounces (1.2 liters) spring water
4 pounds (1.8 kg) sugar
2 organic lemons
2.5 ounces (75 grams) Citric acid powder*
Shake the berries to get rid of any insects and place them along with the rose petals in a large bowl. Heat the sugar and water until the sugar dissolves to make a simple syrup and let sit to cool. Zest the lemons in wide strips. Slice the zested lemons. Add the lemon slices and zest to the elderflowers. Pour the cooled syrup over the flowers and stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and leave at room temp for 24 hours. Strain the cordial and bottle. Store in the refrigerator. Makes about 1.5 litres.
*available in winemaking supply stores, pharmacies or health food stores
Just a few ways to use it, let your imagination run free………
Add a splash to some Prosecco or white wine or fizzy water for a refreshing summer apperitvo. We put an elderberry in the bottom of each flute when we make our house cocktail with prosecco and elderflower cordial.
Add to vinaigrette when making salad dressing
Drizzle over ice cream or gelato for dessert
Make a fruit gelatin for dessert – add Prosecco to taste and fresh fruits or flowers of the season. Set with gelatin according to manufacturer’s instructions.
Later, when the elderberries arrive harvest and freeze them. Use them to make a delicious pie.