Elderflower cordial and Champagne

The elderflowers  have been prolific this year, so yesterday evening in the sunshine (between the showers) we gathered about 50 heads of elderflower and set to making some elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne.

The elderflower champagne recipe was from River cottage, but the recipe for the cordial was from a local lady. We made some of this last year and it was really successful, so refreshing made up with some sparkling water and a slice of lemon.

Elderflower Cordial                         makes 1.5 litres.

Ingredients:            20 heads elderflowers, 1.8kg Granulated or castor sugar, 1.2 litres water, 2 unwaxed lemons, 75g citric acid crystals.


1.       Shake elderflowers to expel any insects and then place in a large bowl of cold water to wash.  Drain, and shake off excess water.

2.       Put sugar into a pan with the water and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

3.       While the sugar syrup is heating, pare zest of lemons off in wide strips and toss into the pan with the elderflowers. Slice lemons, discard ends, and add slices to the pan, and stir in the citric acid. Cover and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

4.       Next day, strain cordial through muslin (or a new J-cloth rinsed out in boiling water), and pour into thoroughly cleaned plastic bottles. Screw on lids and it is ready to use. Store in cool place or in the fridge.

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