A couple of years ago we made an island border, it was the first large border in the garden to be dug. We planted it with various shrubs, one of which was Sambucus Nigra “Black Lace”. This dark purple-leaved shrub has grown vigorously and is now flowering, which means we can have a go at making Elderflower Cordial.
Collect around fifteen medium-sized Elder flowers, preferably fully opened and put into a bowl with a sliced lemon and lime. Try not to take any critters with you.
In a pan, put a kilo-bag of granulated sugar with some lemon rind. Add half a kettle (1 ltr) of boiling water and heat until the sugar is dissolved. Leave to boil for a few minutes. Take care not to burn yourself on wayward splashes.
Dissolve a small box (50g) of Citric Acid (available from Chemists) into the sugar syrup and then carefully pour the sugar syrup onto the Elder flowers, steeping them in the hot liquid. Press the flowers down with the weight of a side plate or pan lid and then cover the bowl with cling film.
Leave for twenty-four hours.
Finally, fish out the the citrus, flowers and pass the cordial through a muslin or coffee filter paper to remove any cooked critters. Bottle the cordial up in something air-tight and you can then serve this diluted with water or soda water (strength to taste) and ice for a refreshing drink on a hot day.
Elderflower cordial made from a “standard” green Elderflower shrub will be clear, ours has a beautiful pink tinge that comes from the dark colouring in the flowers and stems, they both taste delicious; summer in a glass.