So now the equinox is gone and daylight savings will not start till the end of the week I am finding I am up at 5am and it is light enough to see and move around the garden in.
For those who do not know the best times to pick elderflowers is early morning and dusk. The perfume of the flowers is at its best and the flavour as well. Although I have picked them at other times and the flavour seems fine I try to go by this tradition.
This morning I found myself awake and wandered out on the front porch and noticed the elderflowers had ripened and there would be enough to make a batch of elderflower cordial.
I started the kettle up and went out and picked about 30 flower heads and quickly put a batch together to start the infusing process. The cordial is great mixed simply with iced cold water or soda water it is a light refreshing drink in the heat of summer or a favourite is to add a shot Gin to the mix and then you have a great little mixer to sit back and enjoy looking at your garden in the evening.
So the mix was done in a few minutes and then it was the daily chores of cats and chickens and then off to work.
There is something satisfying to me that I can do this before heading off to my corporate day time job. It somehow makes me feel more alive, even though most of my day will tied to this work culture just a little bit of me is still out there enjoying the path less trodden.
- 5 litres boiling water
- 30 Elder Flower Clusters (I don`t wash them – aroma gets lost)
- 3 kilos sugar
- 10 lemons
- 125 grams of citric acid
This amount makes 6 litres of syrup. You only need about 1 – 2 cm per glass.
Put all the ingredients in a clean bucket, cover it with a tea towel and stir it every day with a sterilised spoon so that the sugar dissolves with time. I cut the lemons in half, squeeze them out and throw the peels in as well. After one week, sieve it through a cloth and fill it up into bottles.
That`s all. Have fun.
The original recipe I got from my family is to use cold water but as the elderflowers have natural yeast (handy for making champagne) that ferments I try to kill this off with hot water. It saves the bottles exploding or getting a hard liquor version of syrup.
A trick to fix the cloth in place over the bucket is to take enough twine to almost go around the bucket then tie both ends to rubber bands. That way I can easily remove the string no nots nothing to worry about and makes sure the towel or cloth stays in place.