Fifi's Easy Elderflower Cordial

by Elizabeth Atia -

Taking advantage of the glorious sunshine we've had recently, Fiona Cope from Hillswick picked some of the elderflowers from her garden to make this delicious and refreshing cordial - under the watchful eye of her cat, Mia, of course!

Mia became part of Fiona's family when she saw her in the Shetland Cats Protection in November last year. Mia had been in solitary confinement in the boarding part of the cattery for a year as she was too stressed out in the communal Cats Protection building. She was the last cat they saw. Mia hissed at Fiona and scratched Nick, her husband, but they thought she was a beautiful wee cat who would hopefully settle down, which she has. Mia loves being outside now (freedom!!) in their large garden and all the farm land that surrounds them.

The Shetland Cats Protection are always looking for volunteers and fosterers, as well as homes for the cats under their care. You can find them on their website and on Facebook.

To serve the elderflower cordial, Fiona recommends diluting it to taste with still or fizzy water and serving over ice with a slice or two of lemon or a sprig of mint.

It can be added to cloudy lemonade to make a non-alcoholic elderflower fizz. It also makes fragrant ice lollies when diluted one part cordial to two parts water and can also make interesting ice cubes for summer drinks. A little of the undiluted cordial can be added to fruit salads or crumbles or baking.

For adults, try it with a shot of Shetland gin and some lemon slices or add it to white wine and sparkling water to make an elderflower spritzer.

Fifi's Easy Elderflower Cordial

Course: Main

Servings: 2 litres

Prep Time: 30 minutes

  • elderflower heads - 25
  • unwaxed lemons - 3
  • orange - 1
  • sugar - 1 kg
  • water - 1.5 litres
  1. Fifi's Easy Elderflower CordialCheck the elderflowers and remove any insects. Pull off the tiny flowers roughly from the heads into a large bowl using a fork or your fingers.
  2. Fifi's Easy Elderflower CordialAdd the zest and juice of the orange and lemons.
  3. Pour 1.5 litres of boiling water into a pan and add the sugar. Stir until dissolved, heating gently if necessary. Leave to cool a little.
  4. Fifi's Easy Elderflower CordialPour the sugar syrup over the elderflowers and citrus zest. Cover with a muslin cloth or clean tea towel and leave to infuse overnight.
  5. Fifi's Easy Elderflower CordialStrain the liquid through the scalded muslin or tea towel and pour into sterilised bottles.
  6. Fifi's Easy Elderflower CordialTo serve, dilute the cordial to taste with still or fizzy water and serve over ice with a slice or two of lemon or a sprig of mint. It can be added to cloudy lemonade to make a non-alcoholic elderflower fizz.

You can use whole elderflower heads but apparently the stems can be a little bitter. With thanks to Fiona Cope from Hillswick for the recipe and photographs.

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