Make a delightful summer cordial using elderflowers and lemons, with Elaine Lemm's super-simple recipe
1k granulated sugar
1.5 litres boiling water
4 medium unwaxed lemons
30 large elderflower heads
55g citric acid*
Before you begin, place all the flower heads into a plastic or brown paper bag and shake vigorously then remove. This will shake out any insects lurking in the flowers.
Place the sugar into a large stockpot or a large Pyrex bowl. Pour the boiling water over and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Leave to cool.
Grate the rind of the lemons then add the zest to the sugar water.
Thickly slice the lemons and add these and the citric acid to the water. Stir then finally add the flower heads to the water and stir again.
Cover with a clean tea towel and leave to steep for 48 hours.
Strain through clean fine muslin cloth into a clean bowl. Fill sterilised bottles, seal, then store in a cool, dark place but not the refrigerator as it is too cold.
The cordial is delicious diluted with still or fizzy water or used as a flavouring in ice creams or fruit fools. Once a bottle is opened, store in the refrigerator.
*Citric acid is available from a chemist but do expect strange looks and being asked what you want it for. Apparently it is used in cutting street drugs so they exercise a certain caution when selling it.