By Gill Lowe - 2nd June 2012 7:01am
A refreshing, simple to make cordial which costs very little to make and which I have kept without any deterioration for upto 12 months.
20-30 nice fresh elderflower heads
200ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
zest of 2 lemons and 1 orange (unwaxed)
1.5kg white granulated sugar
tartaric or citric acid (as a preservative) optional
Shake off any insects on flowerheads, place heads in a large bowl with lemon and orange zest, pour over enough boiling water to just cover them (upto 2ltrs).
Cover and leave for a few hours or overnight, until cold. Strain liquid through muslin cloth or clean tea towel,gently squeeze bag until all liquid is extracted.
Measure out liquid and pour into good sized saucepan. To every 500 ml of liquid, add 350g sugar, 50ml lemon juice and one heaped teaspoon of tartaric or citric acid. If you don't use tartaric or citric acid the cordial can still be kept for quite a few weeks in a fridge.
Gently heat liquid to dissolve sugar,stirring occasionally. Bring upto gentle simmer and skim off any scum.
Allow to cool then put liquid through clean muslin or tea towel. Pour the cordial into sterilised bottles (using a funnel) to within about 2-3cms of rim.
Seal bottles with cork or screw tops (I like to also wrap some clingfilm around the tops) store in a dark, cool place.
To serve-dilute using one measure of cordial to five of ice-cold water. Lovely!
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