I must have been pretty inspired by my foraging course at Colstoun Cookery School, Alison made making elderflower cordial so easy I decided to come straight home and try it for myself!
During late May and throughout June into July, you will find elderflower everywhere! Once you’ve identified it, you don’t seem to be able to unsee it.
Here’s what it looks like…
Here are a few foraging tips courtesy of Alison at Colstoun Cookery School…
Forage your elderflower in areas away from exhaust fumes. Head into parks or countryside, or even check your own garden for it.
The flavour of the elderflower is in the pollen, so make sure your elderflower has plenty of pollen for maximum strength cordial.
Pick your elderflower after a spell of warm dry weather, the rain washes the pollen away and you won’t get as much flavour from your pollen.
Don’t wash your elderflower as you will rinse away all that lovely pollen. Anything you don’t want in your cordial will be strained away later.
How to make elderflower cordial
20 large heads of elderflower
1.2 litres of water
75g citric acid
2 unwaxed lemons
1. Forage 20 large heads of elderflower (small heads can be combined to count as one!). Place the sugar and water in a large pot and bring to the boil. Stir the sugar until it has dissolved.
2. Add your elderflower and citric acid to the syrup. Grate the zest of two lemons, then slice the lemons and add them too. Cover and leave for 24hrs.
Tip! Citric Acid can be difficult to come by, either purchase online, or head to a good chemist. If you’re in Edinburgh, I get mine at Barnton Pharmacy, they are well stocked for elderflower season!
3. Strain your cordial through a double layer of muslin (I bought a pack of baby muslins from Tesco), pour into sterilised bottles and store in a dark place. It will keep for several months. If you want to store for longer, it will also freeze in plastic containers.
We have been enjoying ours simply with sparkling water (ok, and in the odd G&T!).
Thanks again to Alison and Colstoun Cookery School for the recipe and inspiration. If you’re inspired, check out their other cookery courses here.