Collecting the folklore and uses of plants

Elderflower season

Posted on by royvickery |

2014-04-12 13.22.33Although elder (Sambucus nigra) is not yet in flower, this board, outside the Market Pharmacy in Dorchester on 12 April 2014,  suggests that elderflower cordial is popular in Dorset.

The following recipe for the cordial, which uses lemons rather than citric acid, was received from Swanwick, Derbyshire, in February 2007:

8 elder heads

2 lb sugar

2 lemons

Cup white wine vinegar

1 gallon water

Place flower-heads, sugar, lemon juice and skin of lemons and vinegar into a plastic bucket with 1 gallon of water.  Keep a lid on the bucket, stirring the mixture occasionally.  Leave for 3 – 4 days, then sieve and bottle (glass bottles).  I keep mine in the shed, and after about a week I test the mix; you will know when it is ready to drink – very fizzy.

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