When elderflowers start to bloom you know summer is in full swing which only means one thing: time to make my elderflower and lemon cordial! It’s so tempting when you pass the elderflower trees as they are blooming. Well imagine tasting that smell in a delicious, refreshing taste of summer!
I find bought elderflower syrup far too sweet, even the organic kind. The beauty about making it yourself is you can adjust the sweetness and use any sweetener you like. To make it a healthier cordial I am using organic Irish honey. It offsets the bitterness of the lemons and the perfume of the elderflower.
During summer, poured into tall glass filled with ice, you get a refreshing drink. During winter, poured into a tall glass filled with ice not only do you get a refreshing drink but you get a feeling of summer. Elderflower isn’t just for summer it’s for all year round.
Health benefits of elderflower
Elderflower is high in vitamins C so it helps in the relief of sore throats, is calming on the stomach and helps aid stomach cramps . Elderflowers are also good for the relief of sinusitis, headaches and nasal congestion. It also relieves high-temperatureand when you are feeling a little tired it acts as a great pick me up.
There are numerous uses for the elderflower, not just for eating and drinking. The leaves of the elderflower tree can be used as an insect repellent. Boil the leaves in water, cool and strain. Place in a spray bottle and use when required.
Elderflower blossoms are best picked during the hottest time of the day as the heat helps intensify the perfume and the flavour of the elderflower. Pick them when they are cream in colour, not green.
When picked, shake them to get rid of any dust or insects and make sure they are picked in an environmentally friendly place. They should be used as soon as possible, preferably on the day there are picked as they will wilt in a very short time.
If you like this then try my recipe for spiced apple juice which can be served hot or cold.
A light refreshing floral cordial made from elderflower blossoms
- 1 litre water
- 200g pale honey or white sugar
- 2 large handfuls of elderflower blossoms
- Wash and prepare the freshly picked elderflower blossoms.Add the water and honey/sugar to the boil and simmer until the honey has dissolved. Leave to cool.
- Add the water and blossoms to a large jar. Leave for two days.
- Strain the elderflower cordial into bottles and leave for a month. Strain again.
- Fill a quarter of a glass with the cordial. Serve with sparkling water and ice cubes.
Pick the elderflowers on the day they will be used or they will start to discolour