I do love Elderflower Cordial, so, whilst putting together the Cordials section of Volume One of The Alchemist's Cookbook Series (CAkes - Cordials - Conserves & Preserves), I went foraging for elderflowers in the surrounding countryside, collecting a lovely big basket full! I decided to combine it with ginger and, as I felt intuitively that using citric acid was the wrong thing to do as I wished this to be as pure as possible (it is often used in elderflower cordials to prevent the elderflowers from going brown whilst soaking the juice), I used extra lemons and lemon oil instead, which have a lot of citric acid in them naturally. The ginger is never overpowering and there is a good balance between them and the elderflowers. They, and the lemons, enhance the subtle flowery flavour of the elderflowers. It was greatly enjoyed by all at my summer house party!
Boil the water – pour into the preserving pan and add the agave syrup and raw sugar. Stir until dissolved. Leave to cool.
Zest 9 of the lemons and add to the cooled syrup. Then add 15 drops of lemon oil Cut all the lemons into slices and add them to the syrup. Stir well
Process the ginger in the mini chopping machine – add to the syrup
Put the elderflower heads in the syrup - mixing well – stir by hand and cover with the tea towel. Put in a cool place for 30 hours
Wearing the rubber gloves, remove the lemons; elderflowers and ginger a few at a time, carefully placing them in the muslin bag and straining the fruit and flowers into the very large bowl (discarding the “spent” fruit and flowers as you go). When all has been strained, carefully pour the remainder of the liquid into the very large bowl, passing through the sieve to catch any remaining bits of ginger, etc
Wash out the preserving pan and pour the reserved cordial mixture back in. At this stage it is a “mild” cordial. If you wish to taste the ginger a little more then add the optional ginger juice and whisk it in
Then bring the cordial mixture to the boil, which takes appropriately 15 minutes. Boil rapidly for 5 minutes, skimming constantly with the tablespoon (use the small bowl to store the scum). Switch off the heat
Boil the kettle and, using the funnel, pour boiling water into each of the bottles, discarding after a few minutes before using the funnel and ladle to decant the hot cordial into each. Secure the tops and allow to cool. Once cooled, label and store in a cool place. Consume within 6 months
To purchase Volume One of The Alchemist's Cookbook Series - Cakes-Cordials-Breads & Soups - click here To register interest in purchasing Volume Two of The Alchemist's Cookbook Series - Breakfasts-Light Bites-Breads & Soups - click here