Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Elderflower Cordial

Not too many folks in this area know what this is, so I feel duty-bound to educate you - after all, you don't know what you're missing! For those who have found IKEA's version - please. It doesn't hold a candle to what you'd make yourself.

First, you need to know what an elderflower looks like. Elder is a shrub that tends to grow along roadsides and in fields, with lovely flowers that look like this:

Please, please, PLEASE be sure you're picking the right flowers - I don't want anyone making a lovely cocktail of Deadly Nightshade, or something...

Once you're sure you've found the right thing, you proceed as follows:

Pick 30 or so heads of elderflowers. Snip them from the main stalk. Scrub and slice 2 lemons and add to flowers, 2oz/50g citric acid (can be ordered online), and 2kg sugar in a big bowl you won't need for a few days. Bring 2 1/2 pints of water to boil and pour over the mixture. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, cover with a cloth or plate and leave for five days. Feel free to stir each day, if you're so inclined.

On day 5, Line a colander with a thin cloth (muslin is what we use) and set over a large mixing bowl. Tip the elderflower mix into the colander and let the cordial strain through to the bowl. Discard everything left behind.

You should store this in a sterilized glass bottle, but we're fresh out, so I poured it into a cleaned out plastic juice bottle, and we haven't perished (yet) Let the record show, I did say "sterilized glass bottle", though.

Since most Americans are unfamiliar with cordial, let me tell you right now - you don't drink this stuff straight! Blech. It's pretty strong - I put less than an inch in a tall glass and top it up with cold water. Another popular option is soda water. However you wanna roll...

Once you've made this, it'll change you. You'll turn into a tortured soul that always travels with scissors and a plastic bag, scouring roadsides and shouting, "There! In that gully! There's some there - can we stop?" while travelling 70 mph on the interstate. So don't say I didn't warn you.

3 comments:

Zoanna said...

YOU CRACK ME UP, GIRL.

SOUNDS LIKE A LOVELY CONCOCTION BUT MORE STEPS AND DAYS IN THE FORMATION THEREOF THAN I CARE TO SPEND. SEEMS A MUCH MORE EFFICIENT USE OF TIME TO AUTHENTICATE MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH CORDIAL BY SIMPLY, ALBEIT TERRIBLY RUDELY, INVITING MYSELF OVER. I'LL BE THE ELDER IN YOUR ELDERBERRY HOSPITALITY, HOW'S THAT SOUND?

FOR THE RECORD, I'M USING ALL CAPS BECAUSE I'M TOO LAZY TO TURN OFF THE BUTTON, NOT BECAUSE I'M SHOUTING AT YOU. WHICH I'M NOT.

dancebythelight said...

I've made raspberry cordial before. It's quite good. Doesn't make you tipsy. :)

Anonymous said...

Mmmmmmmm. This was super yummy! Thanks!

~Kate