On these warm, bright sunny days, there’s no other way to keep hydrated than with an appetising glass of fresh, cold elderflower drink.
We went out to pick around 20 elderflowers from several bushes along the hedgerow, leaving plenty, of course for the bees and pollinators foraging on the nectar rich flowers.
We made cordial form a simple recipe of 2 lemons, approx. 800g granulated sugar, and 20 decent sized heads of the fragrant seasonal flower.
Back at the kitchen, we prepared the flowers ready for infusion by shaking off any debris (and insects) and cutting off the main stalks. In a large pan the sugar was added and dissolved into 1 litre of boiling water. Once all of the sugar had dissolved into solution, the pan was removed from heat.
The lemons were sliced thinly (removing pips) and added to the solution, along with the prepared flower heads of the elderflower. Covered with a lid, it was left to infuse for 48 hours (occasionally stirring the mixture).
Into sterilised bottles, we strained the whole mixture through a sieve lined with muslin (cheesecloth) – and hey presto! The cordial should last for at least three weeks in a refrigerator and better still, it could be placed into an ice tray for freezing (lasting at least 3 months).
Take the cordial and dilute 1 part to 4 parts cold water, with a wedge of squeezed lemon (or lime) – wonderful stuff. Free and fresh, with plenty of vitamins.
On our Nature walks this year, we have discovered some first time sightings of fascinating flora . . . . Take a look at these beautiful orchids.