People make their own homemade elderflower cordials in Europe. It is one of the bare essentials during summer as it is refreshing and has a distinctive yet subtle floral aroma which is very delicious. You can find elderflower trees around Wellington. Some people have it in their own garden. I picked my own elderflowers at a park up the top of Tory St. The perfect time to pick them is when they just start blossoming, which is from now through to early January.
Making you own cordial will probably cost you $2 -$3 and no more than 20 minutes. If you found the right tree you should definitely do it this summer.
To make 500ml of elderflower cordial, you will need:
10 elderflower heads
2 lemons, zested and juiced
1.5 cups (300g) of sugar
1.5 cups (300ml) water
1 tsp (5g) of citric acid
Prep time: 20 mins max + overnight for steeping
Pick 10 blossoming elderflower heads and wash them under running water over a sieve. Give it a shake and let it dry while you make the sugar syrup. Stir in the water and sugar until they are completely mixed together. Stop stirring and let it simmer for 10 mins for a thicker consistency.
While you are waiting, zest your lemon and juice it as well. Combine the lemon with the elderflower.
Once the sugar syrup is ready, pour the hot syrup straight into the elderflower and let it cool down. Once cool. place some gladwrap over it and let it sit at room temperature overnight.
Drain the liquid with a fine sieve or a cheese cloth the next day, and it is ready for bottling.
If you are making this as a gift, don't forget to write the following serving suggestion:
Add a generous dash of cordial into a glass with plenty of ice, sprigs of mint and a few slices of lemon and lime. Top it up with either sparkling or tap water.
Make the most of summer and plenty of outdoor entertainment!