Tuesday, 3 June 2008

Bottling Spring

Last weekend on the way to Mum and Dad's I noticed the elderflowers where out, and when we arrived I announced that I want to make elderflower cordial or as Ella has now dubbed it "flower juice", so after the rain had subsided Mum, Ella and I put our wellies on, grabbed a basket and a pair or scissors and set out foraging for elders in flower, and within our reach.

Due to the fact this had been a rather off the cuff, must do it right now, urge to create, make or cook something, I hadn't actually looked up any elderflower cordial recipes so I was unaware:  
No.1 How many or much elderflower heads we needed
No.2 that you are supposed to collect the elderflower heads on a sunny day when their pollen is most strongly perfumed
No.3 what other ingredients are needed. 

We decided that the more elderflowers the better and managed to gather a huge amount (rather too much as I discovered later) and I have say, it was almost worth it just to be able to put your nose in that basket and draw in all that beautiful scent.

When I got back home that sunday evening I got straight on t'internet and after some research discovered that I needed more sugar than I had, more lemons that I had, and some citric acid, which I didn't have any of! So back in the car for a quick trip to the co-op where I managed to get lemons, sugar, but not surprisingly they didn't have any citric acid. Not to be defeated I decided to make it anyway, citric acid or no citric acid. 

If you search elderflower cordial on google lots of different recipes come up, and all of them are slightly different (amount of lemons to citric acid, and amount of time you leave the infusion to steep) but in the end I chose this one, doubled the quantity, and added the citric acid to the mixture the next day when I had managed to track some down from my local hardware shop that sells wine making stuff. (If you are looking for citric acid you might be able to get some from your pharmacy). 
It made five bottles, one of which is already finished, and one now on the go and one gifted to my mother. I used two plastic bottles which I didn't sterilize, but used these first and kept them refrigerated, and three glass bottles, which I sterilized using the tips in the recipe I have linked to above.

Apart from sourcing the citric acid it was really easy to do, and apart from the boiling water and bottling it's a good recipe to make with children (Ella loved it that we made 'juice' from flowers that we picked from a tree in the hedgerow of a field, and she loves drinking the end result!)


  1. such a pretty drink. i love elderflower cordial...so cool that you made your very own too. now can we just have some summer weather to drink it in please??! x

  2. I have got 3 beautiful elder trees on my allotment and was going to go tomorrow to pick some to make cordial. I am also hoping to make wine out of the berries - neither things I have ever done before. Yours looks lovely. It is great drizzled neat over the top of gooseberry fool too - trust me!
    Cathy X

  3. I love Bottlegreen's elderflower cordial & really want to have a go at making my own (we have elderflowers in our hedge so I don't need to go fat for them!)


  4. My elderflowers bushes will be blooming very soon and have often thought of both the cordial and wine. Thanks so much for the tips.

    Citric acid? Hope I can find that bit.

    Knitty, Vintage and Rosy

  5. OOh, just reading back over your old posts and cant wait to do this this year. Its such a beautiful day today i think its inspired me!
    Might sound a silly question but im just trying to think ahead...do you have to keep it in the fridge once its ready, and do you add water to the finished drink when you make it up(like supermarket squash) or have it as it is?
    Kirsty x


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