Elderflower Cordial

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24 large elder flower heads (or as many as you want so long as it’s more than this)
4 large unwaxed lemons
1.8 kg granulated sugar
1.5 ltrs water


Slice the lemons moderately thinly, discarding the ends, and put the slices into a large stainless steel pan. Pour the granulated sugar into the large pan. Add the water. Bring this sugar solution gently to the boil, stirring occasionally to ensure that the sugar dissolves fully. This is your sugar solution.

While the sugar solution is heating up, sort through the elderflower heads, getting rid of any insects by gently shaking the corymbs over a bowl, This ensures that you don’t lose too many of the little flowers as you can then get rid of the insects that fall in and keep the flowers. I also clip off any excess stalk and any remove leaves.

Bring the sugar solution to the boil, then remove from the heat. Add the flower heads and stir into the sugar solution. Put a lid on the solution and leave to steep for at least 24 hours to 3 days.

Strain the cordial, then bottle in clean bottles. It should be stored in the fridge as it does not last long, or frozen. Use plastic bottles that have been saved or glass bottles with screw on lids. Only part fill the bottles (so they can expand when frozen) and freeze them; you can take them out the freezer and defrost as and when you want them.

To use, simply dilute with water. A little cordial goes a long way so do not put much in a glass.