Elder flower cordial


Elder (Sambucus nigra) is a small, common tree that produces a fabulous white flower that can be used to make wonderful elder flower cordial.  I’ve written a recipe previously, but here is another that we’ve tried recently; it takes slightly less time to make the cordial and so is worth a go if you just can’t wait to give it a try!  This recipe also has an added twist with the addition of some ginger!

We’ve also made elder flower delight in the past, which is also well worth a go.

Ingredients for the elder flower cordial

  • 50 elder flower heads
  • 2 1/2 litres of boiling water
  • 5 lemons
  • Small piece of fresh ginger
  • 1kg of granulated sugar

How to make elder flower cordial

Collect about 50 elder flower heads in a basket.  Lay them outside for a few minutes to give any bugs the opportunity to escape!

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Remove as much of the green stem as you can (elder can have a ‘purgative’ affect on some people!) and put in a clean bucket.  We use the tubs that bird feed and fat balls come in.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Add the zest of 5 lemons.  Put the lemons in the fridge for later.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Grate the ginger onto the lemon zest and elder flowers.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Add 2 1/2 litres of boiling water.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Cover and leave somewhere cool overnight.  The next day strain the mixture.  We poured it through a jelly bag.  Don’t worry if the liquid is a little darker than you imagined, remember it’s a cordial that will be diluted.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Now add the juice of the 5 lemons previously zested.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Add the sugar, add some heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Pour the liquid into sterilised bottles.  We place the bottles in the oven and slowly warm them up.  Be careful, as the bottles and liquid are both hot!

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Leave the bottled cordial to cool.

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

Once cool, pour an inch or so into a glass, add some ice, a slice of lemon, fizzy water and enjoy!

elder flower cordial recipe | Kent | London | south east | Essex

 

This is one that is likely to find its way onto the menu on our 1 day foraging course or our 2 day woodland cooking course. You can see plenty of photos from both courses, as well as all our others, on our Facebook page.


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About Gary

Lead Instructor at Jack Raven Bushcraft, teaching bushcraft, wilderness and survival skills to groups and individuals.

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