A fragrant cordial to enjoy in the summer. Can also be frozen to enjoy in the winter.
25 elder flower heads
4 rose heads – choose a fragrant deep coloured variety
750g granulated sugar
25g citric acid
1 litre cold water
When you’re picking elder flowers, choose the creamy pollen laden ones rather than any that are turning brown. Don’t wash them but shake off any insects and then cut off the big stems, letting the florets fall into a large bowl. Snip off the white part of the rose petals as it’s supposed to be bitter and add the shredded rose petals to the bowl. I find it easiest to hold the rose by the stem and just snip the petals into strips, working my way around the edge until I reach the middle. Much easier than trying to snip individual petals.
Remove the lemon peel with a potato peeler and add to the bowl, together with the juice of the lemons.
Now tip in the sugar, citric acid and cold water and give it a good stir to dissolve the sugar. You might need to come back after half an hour and give it another stir.
Cover and leave for 24 hours in the cool. You can leave it for another day, but don’t be tempted to leave it too long as mould will start to grow on the elderflowers. I speak from experience.
Strain and bottle. Dilute with still or sparkling water.