Elderflowers are out in early summer – just in time for the hayfever season as they are an effective decongestant. This recipe makes a lovely summer drink, try it with sparkling water, very refreshing. You will need heads of elderflowers (about 12 for this amount)
- Remove small stems – barely cover with water and simmer about 10 minutes.
- Strain and measure the liquid.
- Allowing 400 g sugar for 750 mls of liquid (approx 2 : 1), stir in sugar and allow to dissolve.
- I also like to add a fresh lemon and juice.
- Bring to the boil for 5 minutes.
- Skim off any residue with back of a spoon.
- Allow to cool and bottle and label.
Note: If you are familiar with meadowsweet which is in abundance in July, you can make a cordial in the same way.
This is even more simple to make. Take a clean jar and pack with freshly picked elder blossoms. Fill with vegetable glycerine and stir well. Put lid on tightly and place this jar in a warm place (sunny window) for two weeks. You may want to leave a bit longer given our lack of good sunshine in recent weeks. Strain well and bottle and label. Take a teaspoonful for a sore throat.
The flowers are stunning and have a lovely, heavy sweet perfume. Try making a glycerite, similar to the elderflower one above, and use for sore throats and bronchitis.