We have been busy. Very busy.
As some of you may be aware, the elderflower season is upon is. I absolutely love the fact that this prolific bush produces the most divine flowers for a couple of weeks at the beginning of summer which you can use in so many ways, but then, if you missed that window of opportunity, it creates another one in autumn when the flowers have turned into berries.
And the best thing about this bonkers bush? It is almost indestructible, and everywhere.
This week we have been making both Elderflower Cordial and Elderflower Champagne.
The cordial takes absolutely no time at all – approximately 24 hours – and is an absolute doddle to make. Take the biggest pan you have and put in 1.5 litres of water. Adder 2.5kg of sugar and bring to the boil. Take off the heat and add 20 elderflower heads, the peel of two lemons and the lemons, sliced. Finally add 85g citric acid. Stir, pop the lid on the pan and leave.
The next day sieve the Elderflower and Lemon pieces out of the liquid. Pour the rest of the liquid through a piece of muslin to catch any of the wee bits and pieces which may be lingering around.
Beautifully refreshing with sparkling or still water. As long as you can get over the fact that, neat, it looks like a very large urine sample…
Meanwhile we have also started making Elderflower Champagne which is proving to be a little more complex at this experimental stage. However, we have the bottles and the corks all ready for each stage in the hope that, eventually, we will hit on an absolutely corker, if you’ll forgive the pun.
As with so many other things, only time will tell whether we have made something undrinkable, or indeed, a small piece of perfection. Either way, it’s really good fun, and not at all expensive.
The Elderflower window of opportunity lasts two weeks, or thereabouts, so there is still time to pop out and forage. Just a little tip, pick them in the morning sun for the sweetest flavour and make sure you use them that day.
Let me know how you get on.