There really is a cordial for all seasons.
Now is the time of the Elderflower. Large heads of tiny white flowers are blooming now.
Elderflower cordial is like drinking flowers. It is like taking Spring into your body.
It reminds me of fairies and Shakespeare's "Midsummer Nights' Dream"
The most potent blooms are the ones half in bud and half blossomed, they'll be quite fresh.
Don't harvest every bloom as you want to save some for forming into berries for later in the season.
To make about 6lt:
Harvest about 50-60 heads. Shake them gently to remove insects.
Remove most of the stem and place in a large vessel.
Add the zest of about 9 lemons
Pour over 4.5 lt of boiling water and allow to steep overnight.
Strain through a muslin lined strainer into a large pot and add the juice from the zested lemons (about 450ml) and add 3 heaped tsp of citric acid.
Add 3 kg of sugar and stir over a gentle heat till dissolved.
Gently heat till the cordial comes to 70 C. Don't be tempted to rush this step and use high heat because you want to maintain a beautiful golden colour.
While the cordial is heating, place thoroughly cleaned bottles into the oven at 150C and allow to heat for about 10 min to sterilise.
Once the cordial has come to temperature, bottle into the warm sterilised bottles and seal.
This will keep for many months if you can make it last that long.
Once opened store in the refrigerator.
Serve on warm spring nights and hot summer days with ice and sparkling water.