Popular throughout Europe, Elderflower is a relative newcomer to Australia and it’s rather strange that it hasn’t always been a part of our culinary culture. It is after all amazingly refreshing and mixes well with either vodka or gin.
Elderflower cordial, wine and champagne is common in the UK but it seems to not have made the transition along with pork pies and warm beer.
Over the channel the Europeans, especially the Nordic types, love their Elderflower. Fresh, fragrant and undeniably healthy, Elderflowers have everything going for them.
The plants love cool climates and are therefore well suited to Orange and its environs. They’re easy to grow and our one shrub is nearly four metres high.
Bugs and insects of all description love Elderflower trees but none are bad for it. You just have to shake the flower heads before immersing them into the liquid. You’ll probably miss some, but the cheesecloth will catch them.
25-30 Elderflower heads
4 Lemons. Rind grated and lemons chopped up.
1 kg of sugar
50 grams of citric acid
1.5 litres of water
- Boil the water in the pot that you’re going to make it in.
- Once it’s boiled, add the sugar and turn off the heat. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Allow it to cool down to the point you can hold your finger in it easily.
- Add the citric acid and stir to dissolve
- Add the lemon rind and lemon pieces and the flowers. Stir until it’s all combined.
- Leave it to rest for 24-48 hours. The longer you leave it, the greater the taste.
- Strain and bottle.
NOTE: As this is a fresh cordial – not preserved in any way – it should be kept in the fridge where it’s good for about three – four weeks. You can freeze it like we do or if storing it in glass bottles, heat it in a pot of water until the cordial reaches 80c. Then cap and seal for a few months. If it fizzes when you open it, throw it out.
Also Elderflower is a terrific diuretic so be wary if you have a few glasses before bed, you’ll be up every couple of hours. Mind you, it’s great for when you might be feeling a bit bloated.