Tuesday, June 10, 2014

{Free} Food From the Hedgrows

**Today is my last day looking at past posts. With Elderflower season upon us once again I thought I would re-post my tutorial on how to make Elderflower cordial. The Elderflower flowering season is a short one so you have to seize the moment if you are wanting to make Elderflower cordial to enjoy over the summer months :o)**

Oh my! What a stunning week-end we have had. It has felt like summer through and through. Temperatures have soared and we have spent so much time outside, lapping up the sunshine. To top off this balmy week-end, a Brit won the men's Wimbledon final! Whoopee! How exciting! First time in many a year I might add.

On Saturday I was fetching and carrying the girls to their various activities, when I noticed that there were loads of Elderflower trees lining the lane near Miss J-L's netball grounds. Now I have been eyeing out EVERY Elderflower tree along the roadsides and thinking that I must, simply MUST make Elderflower syrup this year. 

Well, Saturday dawned warm and dry - perfect Elderflower picking weather, so I determined then and there that the Summer of  2013 was going to be the year that I made Elderflower Syrup for the first time! So.... I did!

I roped DH in on the flower picking. We chose flower heads laden with pollen as this is what gives the Elderflower syrup it's distinctive flavor. Then we popped off to the store for sugar and lemons.

Come join me in the kitchen and lets make the cordial together...

 Here is my trusty and oh-so-loved copy of  'The Hedgerow Handbook', flower heads and lovely lemons.
 Just look at those delicate little flowers - so pretty!
 I popped flowers and lemons into large glass jars ready for steeping - it's the only thing big enough that I had! You could use any bowl or bucket you have lying around.
 Pour your sugar syrup over all that delicate prettiness... leave for 24 hours... and...
bottle it up. Of course pretty glass bottles would be my first choice, but I really wanted to freeze a whole lot, and experience has taught me that glass and liquids in the freezer can produce rather disastrous results. So I opted for boring plastic water bottles :o)

This should last a while as the syrup is so sweet, you only need a little in the bottom of a glass, top with fizzy water, loads of ice and some sliced lemon. De-Lish!!

If you are willing to give making Cordial a try, {it really is the easiest thing to do}, here's my recipe. 

Basic Elderflower Cordial

20 elderflower Heads
1.5kg granulated white sugar
1.7 litres water
2 unwaxed lemons, sliced

Pick off any little insects from the flower heads.
Dissolve the sugar in the water over a low heat. 
Once the sugar has dissolved pour the solution over the flower heads and lemons.
Cover with a cloth and allow to steep for 24 hours.
Strain mixture and pour into sterilised bottles.
Mixture will keep in the fridge for 1 month. 
I have kept one bottle in the fridge and frozen the rest to use throughout the summer and hopefully into the winter months!

Remember to pick your flowers on a warm, dry day and do not wash your flower heads before pouring over the syrup. It is all that lovely yellow pollen that gives the syrup it's flavor, so washing it all away will leave you with a tasteless end result. Don't worry about any small beasties that are there, remember you are going to strain the mixture before bottling. I used a jelly bag which worked wonders :o)

Have fun bottling a bit of summer :o)


  1. It looks wonderful! I don't think we have elder flowers in our area, which is a shame, because it sounds like a lovely beverage.

    1. It really is lovely Mrs. Pivec! I had a lovely cold glass this afternoon. It's been so hot here and the elderflower cordial mixed with fizzy water was refreshing!

  2. Jealous! Can you buy unwaxed lemons in the store? We cannot in the US - how do you remove the wax, if not?

    1. I have no idea Amanda :o) The recipe called for unwaxed lemons, I just used 'store-bought' and got a great result.

  3. This looks so easy! Thanks for sharing this recipe with us Shirley. I have been on the look out for elderberries for the last two years with no luck :( Methinks I will have to try and grow some of my own! Between the flowers and the berries, there are so many things you can make with that plant! Your book looks really neat too! Thanks for linking up your posts to the Art of Home-Making Mondays this week :) Have a wonderful weekend!


Thank you for taking the time to comment. I appreciate each and every one left for me.