June is a glorious month, with long days and warm weather to enjoy. All around fields, gardens and hedgerows are bursting with flowers and the air is full of their heady aromas. But there are few smells more enticing than elderflower.
Now is the perfect time to get out foraging for these lovely sweet flowers, and it's so simple to create delicious elderflower drinks. Below is a recipe for elderflower cordial which is the perfect ingredient for many cocktails, including our Stiff Upper Lip.
You will need:
1kg granulated sugar
4 unwaxed lemons
50 or so large elderflower heads
65g citric acid (available from some pharmacies or online)
Put the sugar in a large bowl with 1.75 litres boiling water. Stir until the sugar has completely dissolved, cover with a clean tea towel and leave to cool.
Next zest your lemons and then thinly slice both the lemons and limes. Add the zest and slices to your cold sugar solution. Inspect your elderflower to make sure there are no bugs lurking and give it a good shake. Remove the stalks and add the flowers to the bowl with the citric acid, then stir. Cover and leave overnight in a cool dark place.
Strain through a sieve lined with a fine muslin cloth. Decant into sterilised glass bottles and keep in a cool dark place for up to 2 months. Once opened, it will need to be kept in the fridge and will last for about a month.
Stiff upper lip
Black Cow vodka, 50ml
Elderflower cordial, 15ml
Lime juice, 25ml
Cider vinegar, 5ml
3 mint leaves in the shaker
Step by step
Shake all of the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with cubed ice.
Double strain into Nick and Nora or small wine glass.
Garnish with candied nettle.