Cordially Yours: Elderflower Cordial
In early summer, when the roadsides are covered in masses of this plumy whiteness…oh, what’s an herbalist to do? Make elderflower cordial, of course! This sweet, citrusy, and very floral syrup serves as an insanely delightful cocktail blend, pancake drizzle, ice cream topping, yogurt add-on, or cake glaze. This recipe is truly incredibly easy, and a perfect lazy summer activity. The bulk of the work, really, is waiting (which you may find difficult once you smell it for the first time!). Elderflowers enjoy many of the same benefits as the beloved elderberry, but are especially supportive of the eliminative channels of the body, opening the pores, and bringing in cooling and ease.
Elderflower Cordial Recipe
You will need:
~45 elderflower heads
9 cups water
3 1/3 lbs sugar
3 organic lemons
3 organic oranges
3 oz citric acid
a large pot, a cloth, a spoon, and two days time
Clip about 45 fully open heads of elderflower (Sambucus nigra or Sambucus canadensis…not Sambucus racemosa!) and use them immediately or refrigerate them until you can get around to making the cordial. They will last for a day or two in the fridge, but not much longer.
Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a large pot, and cool down. Grate the lemon peel and add to the water, and then cut the lemons into slices and stir those in. Do the same thing with the oranges. Stir in your citric acid, and then finally stir in the elderflower heads (stem and all is just fine).
Cover the pot with a cloth and let sit for 24-48 hours. Strain, use, and refrigerate. Delish!