Sweetly scented, creamy-white elder flowers make a wonderfully aromatic cordial. Best gathered just as the many tiny buds are beginning to open, and some are still closed. Pick on a warm, dry day and be sure to leave some flowers for elderberry picking later in the year.
Recipe Elderflower cordial
Take care to remove any insects. Place the flower heads in a large bowl together with the orange and lemon zest.
Bring 1.5 litres water to the boil and pour over the elderflowers and citrus zest. Cover and leave overnight to infuse.
Strain the liquid through a scalded jelly bag or piece of muslin and pour into a saucepan. Add the sugar, the lemon and orange juice and the citric acid (if using).
Heat gently to dissolve the sugar, then bring to a simmer and cook for a couple of minutes.
(Recipe from The River Cottage Handbook)