Elderflower Cordial
29. May, 2018

Refreshing Drink

A step-by-step tutorial
If you grew up in Slovenia you must have tasted this simple, homemade, yet very tasteful and refreshing beverage. A drink made of Elderflower, sugar and citric acid, called Elderflower cordial or Elderflower syrup. It’s a drink that almost every Slovenian mother or grandmother knows how to make by herself. Well, we are pretty sure that most of the male population know how to prepare it too, Usually the stronger version of it, one that has been fermented. 
The drink is so popular in Slovenia they even sell syrup in supermarkets, serve them in bars, but nothing can compare to the one you make at home. We bring home a bottle of syrup and later thin it with tap or sparking water.
There are many different ways and recipes to make this delicious syrup, although they are all essentially the same. Ours is made of three ingredients. Well, four if you count tap water. 
First you need to find a bush with fully blossomed flowers. When you smell the flowers they must have a strong typical Elderflower scent. The flowers must be fully blossomed but still white, no brown flowers. Brown flowers are too ripe and they don’t give the scent and taste any more. The essential recipe consists of 30 – 40 big flowers, 3 kg of sugar and 50 g citric acid. The amount of sugar and citric acid can be modified according to your preferences, but don’t cut on sugar too much because sugar is what keeps the syrup from going bad.
How we do it:
1.) Boil the amount of water you need and cool it down. While waiting for the water to be ready, cut as much green from the flowers as possible. Clean the flowers, make sure that there are no bugs. We never wash the flowers because that removes too much of the scent. 
2.) Put the flowers into the water. Make sure that all the flowers are in the water. If you like, you can slice a lemon or two and put it on top of it. Put a lid on it and leave it like that for 24 – 48 hours, depends on the temperature. Stir a few times during that time.
3.) Remove the flowers from the water. Make sure you squeeze them well, to lose as little flavour as possible. Pour the water trough the strainer (we also use gauze for better filtering effect) to remove all the hard parts.
4.) Now it’s time to add sugar and citric acid. We do it during heating. Put the pot on the stove – you need to heat your syrup-to-be up to about 80 Celsius. Slowly add sugar and citric acid and stir until it melts thoroughly. 
5.) While waiting for the syrup to heat up you can prepare bottles you are going to store the syrup in. Wash and dry them thoroughly and heat them in the oven. The bottles must be warm, so that they don’t explode when you pour hot syrup in. We found an easier alternative – we use a wine barrel, the metallic kind. It is a good alternative – you just pour hot syrup in, put the floating lid on and put oil around it. It never goes bad. 
When the syrup cools off it’s ready to drink. Enjoy!
It is usually served with a few ice cubes, a slice of lemon or orange and with a leaf of peppermint. Just a perfect summer refreshment. If you haven’t yet, now is the time to find an Elderflower bush and follow our recipe.

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