You know the month of June has finally arrived when you smell the strong, sweet fragrance of those creamy clusters of tiny elderflowers covering our native tree.
Go out and gather 30 elderflower bloom heads, ideally on an early sunny evening when they are fully pungent. Make sure you know exactly what an elderflower looks like before you pick and spread the foraging to several trees so not to completely deplete any from future berries.
30 elderflower bloom heads
1.25 litres of water
1.6kg granulated sugar
3 lemons, quartered
50g citric acid (available in granular form from chemists and supermarkets)
- Gently rinse the elderflower blooms to remove any bugs
- Place the sugar and water in a large saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved
- Bring to the boil and boil for 5 minutes
- Remove from heat and stir in the quartered lemons, critic acid and elderflower blooms
- Cover and leave overnight
- Next day, drain through a fine sieve lined with a paper filter (alternatively use kitchen paper). Then pour into sterilised bottles
- Store in the fridge
To serve: Add ice to a jug and pour over the enough elderflower cordial to your taste and top up with either cold flat or cold fizzy water and add a few slices of lemon.
Alternatively, serve as an early evening cocktail. For this, I suggest an Elderflower French 75 – per person, take a tall glass with an ice cube, add a measure of gin (to your taste), the juice of half a lemon, 10ml (2 tsp) elderflower cordial and top up with prosecco. Finally, to serve add a sprig of fresh mint.
Long may the elderflowers lasts – cheers!