The wait is over! Elderflower season is here, and I am as excited as I could be. I love the scent of those delicate little flowers and can’t wait to infuse the house with it while cooking with them. Over the past months, I made a list of different flavours that I wanted to try to combine with elderflowers and limes made it to the top of my list. I love every type of citrus so I could not wait to give this lime and elderflower cordial a try.
Usually, I make elderflower cordial with lemons, but I wanted something zingier this year and tried my luck with limes. Luckily this turned out to be as delicious as it sounds. The lime cuts nicely through the sweetness of the cordial and adds a freshness and fragrance to it.I dedicated an entire post to picking elderflowers since you can confuse them with other plants. If you are new to elderflowers, I have made a guide on how to pick them here.
Limes are readily available and can be treated just like lemons. You will be able to use the limes as a whole, as long as they are unwaxed. I zested and sliced mine in this recipe. Separating the peel from the fruit helps to get as much flavour out of them as possible. If you do not have a zester, then you can do the same with a vegetable peeler. The strips of lime peel will be much larger, but that doesn’t matter since you will strain the cordial and discard the flowers and limes.
Part of me was hoping the colour of the limes would have a bigger impact on the tone. Green elderflower cordial seemed like such a novelty, but I am happy with the result as is since it does have a slightly green hue but most of all it is delicious.
You can use this cordial for a large variety of things. Marinate summer berries in it, drizzle it over cakes, mix it into cocktails, sweeten your lemonade or just use it mixed with ice cold water and a few slices of fresh lime. That is at least what I love to do the most. Just a simple, tall glass filled with refreshing lime and elderflower cordial at the end of a hot day. There’s nothing like it.
- 200g (7 oz or 5 cups) of elderflowers without stems, about 45 heads
- 2 L (8½ cup) water
- 1.5 kg (7½ cups) sugar
- 6 tbsp citric acid
- 2 limes, zested and sliced
- Collect only fresh flower heads and make sure the tiny buds have just opened and use them the same day. This is important because the lovely fragrance will turn into bitterness if you wait too long. Do not wash the flower heads because you will lose too much flavour.
- Make sure to look through them carefully and remove any insects. While doing so make sure to remove unopened buds and any flowers that are not perfectly fresh. They will otherwise spoil the taste. When you are done with this, the most labour intensive task is done.
- Zest the lime and slice them. Don't discard anything; all will be needed.If you do not have a zester, then peel them carefully with a vegetable peeler.
- Place the flowers with the citric acid and zested lime slices with their peel in a large pot with lid.
- In a second pot, bring the water and sugar to a boil and remove from the hot stove top. Pour the sugary, hot water over the flower mix and give it a stir. Cover with a tight fitting lid or plate and leave to steep overnight.
- The next day, strain the cordial through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth. Discard the flower and lime mix. Fill the cordial into sterilised bottles or jars and store in a dark and cool place.