Summer always brings to mind the elderflower, a wonderfully fragrant English blossom that preceeds the berries of the elder tree. The floral citrusy bouquet of a New Zealand sauvignon blanc, often described as grapefruit or leechee, is in my mind very similar to the elderflower. As a child, my sisters and I would make a sweet, syrupy cordial from the blossoms that grew behind my grandmother's garden on The Avenue in Sherborne, Dorset.
Don’t mistake the store-bought cordials or concentrates for the real deal. The only true elderflower cordial is that which you make yourself.
2kg (4½lb) Sugar
1.14lt (2 pints) Boiling Water
20 Elderflower Heads
80g (2¾ oz) Citric Acid
2 Lemons, grated rinds, sliced
Shake elderflower heads to ensure they are free of insects.
Place the water into a large saucepan and ring to the boil.
Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
Add the grated rind and sliced lemon, plus the citric acid.
Place the elderflower heads in a bowl, pour over the boiling water.
Leave for at least 12 hours covered with plastic wrap.
Sieve the liquid, to remove the solids.
Strain the liquid through muslin or even a coffee filter to clarify.
Dilute and add to sparkling water or Gin and soda.
Recipe couresty of the Foody.com