The elderflowers were out early in Dorset this year, but much later in Oxfordshire. And now, in early July, they are still out in Northern Ireland, where I’ve just returned from this week.
Elderflower has a unique fragrance and is a truly wild ingredient. You can only get it when it’s in season. It’s very easy to find and pick when in flower, and not to be confused for cow parsley growing in the verges.
I like to make it into cordial, using citric acid to stop it fermenting and to allow it to keep for longer. Citric acid is easily obtained from brewing shops and chemists, if you have never bought it before.
This cordial can be diluted with sparking water to make an elderflower pressé, mixed into a gin and tonic or drizzled onto summer fruits, such as strawberries or poached gooseberries. It also goes straight into my elderflower sorbet recipe.