Portion/Yield:Makes about 1.5 litres
Elderflowers are absolutely everywhere and when we’re driving along the country lanes I cannot help myself spotting them and constantly saying out loud “Another, and another, wow look at the amount of flowers on that tree!”. I am driving Mr P crazy! The season this year has been phenomenal!
I have been out in force armed with bags and scissors when walking the dogs. I choose the flowers that are higher up in the trees and further into the woods away from any road pollution. It’s very important that you do wash the flowers well, and if you like, you can put a bit of salt and a few drops of Milton sterilising fluid in the cold water when washing them to remove any unwanted wildlife.
I make large quantities of this cordial, then freeze it in smaller quantities in freezer bags and defrost as needed. This way I extend the life and can enjoy this refreshing drink for most of the summer.
Ingredients & Method
For the strawberry and elderflower cordial
- 200g very ripe strawberries, hulled and sliced
- 900g caster sugar
- 1.1 litres boiling water
- 10 heads of fresh elderflowers, washed
- 50g citric acid
- thinly pared zest and juice of 2 lemons (keep the squeezed-out halves)
- thinly pared zest and juice of 2 limes (keep the squeezed-out halves)
Quarter-fill a medium saucepan with hot water, place a heat-resistant bowl on top to make a double-boiler and place the pan over a medium heat (once the water is simmering, reduce the heat to low). Put the strawberries, 100g of the caster sugar and 200ml of the boiling water into the bowl, then cover with cling film and cook gently for 25 minutes. The strawberries will release all their goodness and juices into the sugar water.
Place the elderflowers, the remaining sugar, the citric acid and the zest, juice and squeezed-out halves of the lemons and limes in a large container, then pour the remaining boiling water over. Once the strawberries are ready, pour into the container and mix, cover with cling film, leave to cool and then refrigerate overnight.
The following day, pass the cordial through a fine sieve into a bowl or jug. Discard the contents of the sieve, then pour the cordial into sterilised bottles and seal. Keep refrigerated until needed. The unopened bottles of cordial will keep for up to 2 weeks in the fridge. Once opened, keep refrigerated and use within 1 week. Alternatively, freeze the cordial in portions (in freezer bags), then defrost and use as required.
Strawberry and Elderflower Lemonade
To make Strawberry and Elderflower Lemonade, for each serving, put plenty of ice in a glass, pour some Strawberry and Elderflower Cordial over the ice and then top it up with soda water. If you prefer a sweeter drink use carbonated lemonade instead. Decorate with fresh strawberries and serve.
Alternative delicious drinks can be made using this cordial:
Strawberry and Elderflower Pimm’s
Put plenty of ice in a tall glass and pour 50ml Strawberry and Elderflower Cordial over the ice. Pour over 50ml Pimm’s no 1, then add fresh mint leaves and sliced fresh strawberries, top the glass up with lemonade, stir and serve.
Strawberry and Elderflower Cosmo
Place a martini glass in the fridge to chill. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice, add 25ml vodka, 25ml Cointreau and 50ml Strawberry and Elderflower Cordial, and shake vigorously. Pour into the chilled glass (discarding the ice) and serve immediately.