The Elder (latin name Sambucus Nigra) will soon be coming into flower in the UK.
Elderflowers make a thirst quenching cordiale with a distinctive flavour. Elderflower champagne and elderflower wine are also popular drinks.
There are many different recipes for elderflower cordiale. The main ingredients are elderflower heads on a very short stalk, sugar and water. Lemon and citric acid can be added to help it keep longer. Mrs Beeton added butterscotch to increase the flavour. Proportions vary with taste, but here is a guide:
Elderflower cordiale ingredients:
* 20 heads of elderflower * 1.8kg granulated or caster sugar * 1.2 litres water * 2 unwaxed lemon * 75g citric acid
*Collect* the flowers when they are fully out, on a dry, sunny day when the nectar is at its height.
*Shake* the flowers in a downward motion to get rid of the tiny black flies.
*Place *layers of flowers, and sugar in a large bowl or bucket.
*Pour* boiling water over the flowers, so that they are covered.
*Leave* for 24 hours
*Strain* and pour the liquid into plastic bottles.
*Refridgerate* or freeze
Use elderflower cordiale as:
* a refreshing drink diluted with water, fizzy water, or iced water * to provide a syrup for fruit salad * as hayfever relief