The English writer and gardener John Evelyn
[b.1620] wrote, "Ale in which Elder
flowers have been infused is esteemed by many so salubrious
that this is to be had in most of the eating houses about our
town" [Lewes, Sussex]
That's not the case today, more's the pity, but
many people across the world look forward to the short elder
flowering season in early summer and go out to collect the flowers
to make a variety of delicately flavoured jams, vinegar, syrups
and drinks like cordial.
Elderflower cordial can be made with either honey
25 elderflower heads
2 un-waxed lemons, sliced
1 tablespoon citric acid
2 pints (1 litre) honey [or 4 pints sugar]
3 pints (1.5 litre) water or [or 4 pints water]
Shake the elderflower heads to remove any dirt or insects.
Separate the flowers from the stalks, removing as much of
the stems as you can.