Pick the blossom early on a warm dry morning.
Do not pick blossom from the roadside, find somewhere well away from exhaust fumes.
Only pick the blossom that has just opened and is creamy coloured - no buds and no flowers that are getting past their best.
The recipe uses Citric acid which used to be available from chemists. They no longer stock it due to drug users doing something with it!
You can buy the Citric acid from wine and brewery making shops, and as long as you look respectable and say you want it for making Elderflower Cordial they will happily sell it to you.
Use only unwaxed lemons.
Preparation time: 20 minutes, plus 24 hours steeping.
Sterilise glass bottles, wash well, rinse in boiling water, then dry in a preheated oven at 190C/gas 5 for 15 minutes. Leave to cool.
roughly 25 heads of elderflower.
3 unwaxed lemons, which you zest first and then slice.
75g Citric acid.
l.1 litres of cold water
1.Shake the flower heads to remove any errant bugs, and place in a very large, heatproof bowl with the lemon slices. I do not slice all three lemons as I like to use some of the squeezed juice in the cordial. In large saucepan set over low heat dissolve sugar in water. Bring to boil, then stir in the citric acid and lemon zest along with lemon juice if like me you choose to do that. Pour hot liquid over the blossom and lemon slices. Cover with clingfilm and set aside in a cool place to steep for at least 24 hours.
2.Strain into a jug through muslin or fine cloth. Divide between jars or bottles. Seal tightly and keep in a cool, dark place. Use within 2/3 months. Once each bottle is opened keep in fridge for up to one month.
Cordial can be diluted with iced sparkling mineral water, tonic water, soda water or just plain water. You can also add it to gin and vodka. It can flavour homemade vanilla or bought ice cream, and is especially delicious when added to dishes featuring gooseberries.
H says the aroma and scent from this steaming, steeping mixture is wonderful - leave for at least 24 hours.
I find it easier to remove the blossom and lemon first and squash it against a fine mesh sieve to get all of the juice out.