How can you ignore the fragrant plate like flowers adoring every hedgerow?  I can’t, for me they simply smell of summer.  Making Elderflower Champagne or Cordial preserves that so that everytime you open a bottle it releases just a little bit of early summer sunshine.

For anyone wanting to know more about elderflower Transition Chesterfield is running ‘The Joy of Elderflower’ as part of their Summer 2010 skill shares go to http://www.transitionchesterfield.org.uk/content/summer-skill-share-workshops , but for now here is how to make a beautiful fruity elderflower cordial.

Take 12 heads of elderflowers, remove the stems and any bugs (but don’t wash), pick them when its sunny for fullest flavour.  Jucie and zest 2 oranges and 1 lemon and combine with 1lb 4oz sugar and 30g citric acid (go to a chemist that either knows you or will believe that you are not about to use it to assist with your heroin habit).  Add to all this just under 2 pints of boiling water and stir until the sugar has dissolved.  Add the flowers and leave overnight.  Poour through a fine sieve or muslin into very clean bottles.  The cordial will keep for a few months, or better still pop it into smaller plastic bottles, leaving expansion room and freeze.

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