Recipe: Elderflower syrup (or cordial)
For an easy to store, totally non-alcoholic and non-exploding elderflower drink...
This can be called syrup or cordial: I've labelled it syrup because without the lemon juice added it's a bit too sickly for me to use as a drink straight away- but it has more uses this way, so we'll just add the lemon as and when we want to use it as cordial.
Other than as a drink, it's a great flavouring for cheesecakes, sponge cakes, as an ice cream topping... or as a base for making a completely delicious granita.
To make elderflower syrup
8-10 heads elderflower
1 mug sugar (approx 300g)
Lemon juice to taste- optional- we add ours later, just before using the syrup, if needed.
You will also need:
A saucepan with a lid
A sieve or colander
A clean piece of cloth (eg a teatowel or old pillow case fabric)
A large jar or bowl (at least 1l capacity)
A wooden spoon
Put the mug of sugar and 1 mug tap water into the saucepan.
Heat until the sugar is dissolved then bring to the boil.
Pull the elderflower florets off the big stems and add to the mixture. Obviously, shake off any visible bugs first.
Stir, then cover and leave to cool to room temperature.
Add an extra 1 1/2 mugs cold water.
Chill overnight in fridge (the elderflower are still in at this point- which is why this ends up a REALLY strong-flavoured syrup!
Using the clean cloth laid into the colander or sieve, strain the syrup into the jar or bowl to remove the bits. Elderflower is buggy stuff- there are likely to be little dead critters left in your cloth. This is much better than leaving them in the drink...
Add lemon juice to taste (or not, as you wish)
Return to fridge or sterilise as for jam or preserved fruits (useful methods here).
This will store like a low-sugar jam or jelly if sterilised and sealed properly- it will keep for a few months while sealed, then need refrigerating and using within a week or two once opened.