25 Comments

  1. Jazzygal

    I’m glad you included a photo of the elderfolower as I don’t know what they look like….shhh, don’t tell! I’ve always wanted to taste elderflower wine so I must give this a try. We forage every Autumn for blackberries and have just made our first raspberry cheesecake made from home grown raspberries. Feeling very virtuous indeed!

    xx jazzy

  2. Denise Kenny

    Oh this sounds interesting. Hubby made our first attempt at elderflower cordial last month. was nice, but I much prefer the idea of champagne :-)
    Might try this on Saturday. perfect timing.
    I made raspberry cordial for first time today using our home grown raspberries. was lovely.

  3. kathryn

    A couple of things I do differently. I just slice the lemons very thinly and throw them in – don’t bother with the juicing. And I find it is fiddly, but worthwhile, to take most of the stems off – I pull the florets off with my fingers. Sometimes the stems add both a bit of bitterness and a a taste that veers more towards the tom cat than the muscatel.
    And then there’s how big is an elderflower head? They are huge this year. One batch I made I only used ten heads to 5 litres of water because they were so big – other years I’ve used twenty. Glad you don’t use too much sugar – some people make it far too sweet.
    Glad you gave the warning about valving off excess fizz – I hate having to wash the stuff off the ceiling

    • In hindsight I think slicing is better. I tried to stick as closely to the recipe in the book as possible though they don’t recommend peeling the skin. My second batch I did, as you say, pinch off the stems. The difference in aroma is huge so I’m sure it will make a flavour difference. Even with my lower sugar amount, I found it very syrupy.

      • kathryn

        Some batches seem to ferment and use up the sugar more than others. Mine is more syrupy than usual this year too. I used 15 litres water to 1 kg sugar on my last batch and it was still sweeter than usual. I can only think it is something to do with whatever wild yeasts are around this summer – it was slower starting too. One thing that makes a difference is boiling and cooling all the water to drive off chlorine. Though I don’t need to do that since I got a reverse osmosis filter installed

        • Yes the filter is fantastic. I leave mine to stand for a day & a bit before using. Can’t afford jug water filters so we pour off what water we need days in advance. Mine was slower starting too. I guess I could have left it a little longer before bottling but I was wary of small hands getting into the pot if I left it much longer!

      • kathryn

        Experimented with using the mandolin for fine slicing – not a good idea. Flavour was great but we have to use the tea strainer every time we drink it. Back to the sharp knife next year.

          • kathryn

            sliced the lemons, not the flowers – fingers are defiinitely the only way to go for those. Fork for elderberries or you get strange looks for weeks

          • Well that’ll serve me right for reading it without a second cup of tea on board this morning! I peeled the skin off with a potato peeler and it worked very well. Sure I never settle on a recipe anyway, am always tweaking. Agreed on the fork. :)

          • kathryn

            I’m amazed you can even type before the second cup of tea – it would be well beyond my capabilities

  4. Cathleen Kennedy

    My hubby made this last night (slightly different recipe and method) and I made another batch of cordial (we used mostly white elderflower and the last few pink ones from our garden) – we are hoping for pale pink champagne and hopefully not all over the ceiling of the shed!! Will definitely be letting off some of the gas from time to time. We are loving the first batch of cordial which we made totally from pink elderflowers – hoping the mostly white one turns out as nice.

  5. Joanna

    Sorry, I can’t take in anything else after reading about the person who thought cowslips were elderflowers….Ah, go on, tell us who!!!!

  6. S_Lucan

    My boys really love elderflower cordial & I make a lemon cake with cordial drizzled over so would love to make our own. I know it has just come into season so am anxious to forage it. We are in Lucan, Co Dublin. Does anyone know a good spot in Celbridge/Maynooth/Leixlip to find it. We have a small pink one growing in a pot so might try that too, if enough heads. Thanks S

  7. natasha peters

    this sounds like a fab book I may have to get my hands on it, I’d love to do a bit of foraging with my wee lady. the joys of living in the countryside!

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