Its Elderflower season and with our dry sunny weather it’s the ideal time to make a batch of Elderflower Syrup, cordial or Champagne. Last year I added fresh fragrant rose petals and really loved the results. Quick and easy to make, here are a few Tips

: Strip the flowers from stems before using, I use a gloved hand as have never liked the fork method.

: Store in sterilized bottles or freeze excess syrup in silicone baking forms for later use.

:Use limes instead of lemons, unwaxed organic of course.

: For the syrup use unrefined sugar, or honey if you can.

Elderflower and rose syrup.

I find the syrup more useful than the champagne, it has no alcohol, no problems with pressure in bottles, excess can be frozen in silicone baking forms and bagged for use much later, ideal ingredient for mixing cocktails or making deserts. If you like a sparkling drink, just add tonic or sparkling water or sparkling wine.

In gredients.

20 Elderflower heads, stripped.

2 cups scented rose petals, from non sprayed roses.

2 kg unrefined sugar, or honey.

3 limes, 1 lemon, organic non waxed, zest and juice.

2 teaspoons of citric or tartaric acid.

1 and half litres water.

Put the elderflowers,a petals, juice and zest into a large bowl or bucket. Biol up about two thirds of the water, no need to be too exact, turn off heat and stir sugar into hot water till dissolved. Cool the mix with the remaining cold water and stir in the acid, Pour the lot over the flowers and cover with a clean cloth. Leave overnight, strain and bottle into sterilized bottles or freeze.

For a real summer treat, serve garnished with flowers or herbs from the garden, lemon balm, rose petals or try a sprig of Rosemary in Gin with a dash of Elderflower syrup.

For the Champagne use 10 Elderflower heads, 1 cup of rose petals and proceed as Dandelion and Gorse recipe.

Scented rose petals.

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