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!
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.
Add the zest of 5 lemons. Put the lemons in the fridge for later.
Grate the ginger onto the lemon zest and elder flowers.
Add 2 1/2 litres of boiling water.
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.
Now add the juice of the 5 lemons previously zested.
Add the sugar, add some heat and stir until the sugar dissolves.
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!
Leave the bottled cordial to cool.
Once cool, pour an inch or so into a glass, add some ice, a slice of lemon, fizzy water and enjoy!
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.