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Elderflower Cordial by @rivercottagehq 

The sweetly scented, creamy-white flowers of the elder tree appear in abundance in hedgerows, scrub, woodlands and wasteland in June and early July.

The fresh flowers make a terrific aromatic cordial. They are best gathered just as the many tiny buds are beginning to open, and some are still closed.

Gather the flowers on a dry day (never when wet), checking the perfume is fresh.
Trees do differ and you will soon get to know the good ones. Remember to leave some flowers for elderberry picking later in the year too!

Method:

Inspect the elderflower heads carefully removing any insects. Place the flower heads in a large bowl together with the orange and lemon zest.

Bring 1.5 litres water to the boil and pour over the elderflowers and citrus zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.

Strain the liquid through a scalded jelly bag or piece of muslin and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar, the lemon and orange juice and the citric acid (if using).

Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.

Use a funnel to pour the hot syrup into sterilised bottles. Seal the bottles with swing-top lids, sterilised screw-tops or corks.

Ingredients:
Makes about 2 litres of cordial
*25 elderflower heads or more.
*Finely grated zest of 3 unwaxed lemons and 1 orange, plus their juice (about 150ml in total)
*1kg sugar
*1 heaped tsp citric acid (optional)

Serving suggestions:

Add a splash or two, undiluted, to fruit salads or anything with gooseberries or dilute one part cordial to two parts water for fragrant ice lollies.
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