Florets from 20-25 elderflower sprays
1.5kg granulated or caster sugar
1.2 litres water
1 unwaxed lemon
60g citric acid
1/2 tsp campden powder (optional)
Sterilise a 5 litre brewing bucket and fine straining bag. Pour the sugar and water into a pan and bring slowly to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Line the bucket with your straining bag and secure into position. Separate the flowers from their stalks by pulling through your fingers or cutting with scissors. Pare the zest of the lemons and slice the remaining fruit. Toss flowers, lemon zest and slices into the bucket. Pour over the boiling water and stir in the citric acid. Cover and leave for overnight.
Sterilise a funnel and 4 x 500ml bottles. Lift out the straining bag to remove the flowers and lemons and pour into bottles. Your cordial is ready to drink and will keep for up to 6 weeks in the fridge or add campden powder and store in a cool place to preserve.
Add split vanilla pods with the flowers and lemons.
Dilute with sparkling water and serve over ice and lemon for a refreshing soft drink. Or add a dash to a traditional gin and tonic for a sweet, floral twist.