The days are heating up and there is nothing nicer than enjoyinghome made cordial free of anything artificial. Why not grow an attractive tree and enjoy the flowers from it.
Elderflower trees can be purchased at nurseries and large hardware stores in the nursery section, usually where the herbs are stored. The tree does well in poor dry soils (yes you read correctly) and full sun. Elderflower is fast growing and grows to approximately 3 metres high and wide and makes a good hedge also.
Elderflowers can be used in
- baking (muffins etc)
Not only is the flower useful but insects like them too and I noticed the dwarf green tree frogs have realised this as well. The frogs sit on the end of branches near the flower to catch their prey.
2.5 cups of caster sugar
20 fresh elderflower heads, stalks trimmed
85g of citric acid (purchased from the supermarket)
1.5 litres of water
- Put the sugar and water in a large saucepan. I used my slow cooker. Gently heat without boiling, until the sugar has dissolved. Stir every so often Zest the lemons using a peeler, then slice the lemons into rounds.
- Once the sugar has dissolved bring the pan to the boil, then turn off the heat. Add lemons, flowers, zest and citric acid, then stir well. Cover the pan and leave for 24 hours.
- Either line a colander with a clean tea towel and ladle syrup into tea towel and let it drip slowly through or use a sieve to poor the syrup through. Discard the plant material on your compost heap.
- Pour cordial into sterilised bottles.
- Chill and enjoy!