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How do I make and preserve home-made cordials?

(28 Posts)
ionesmum Sat 14-May-05 12:20:45

Our garden is stuffed with lots of goodies - elder, rosehips and blackberries - and I would like to make cordials. How do I make them and make sure they don't start fermenting? Or can I freeze them? TIA!!!

ionesmum Sat 14-May-05 15:37:23


chenin Sat 14-May-05 16:27:50

Here is our been-in-the-family-for-generations recipe for eldeflower cordial:

30 flower heads (picked whilst sun is shining)
2 sliced lemons
3.5 lbs sugar
2.5 ounces citric acid (buy from chemist but tell them it is for cordials as it has other dubious purposes)
2.5 pints boiling water

Throw everything into a clean bucket and stir twice a day for 5 days. Strain through muslin and then bottle. It keeps for about a week or so in the fridge - it tastes best diluted with fizzy water but can be drunk with still water. Dilute it as you would fruit squash.
If you make quite a lot you can freeze it in plastic bottles allowing a couple of inches at the top for expansion.
It is absolutely delicious and I normally don't give out the recipe!!

MarsLady Sat 14-May-05 16:32:20

thank you! I watched and waited, but your secret's safe with me.

chenin Sat 14-May-05 16:35:27

God job I am anonymous!!! You can tell its an ancient recipe by the "pick whilst sun is shining"!!
I have to say I make it every year and one year I picked whilst it was cloudy and it didn't seem to taste so good as other years......!

ionesmum Sat 14-May-05 20:02:07

Thanks, helliebean! I love elderflowers.

moondog Sat 14-May-05 20:03:57

Oooh,I'd love to potter about making cordials ionesmum! We've got lots of nice fruit bushes and trees in our garden,but I'm never home long enough to get stuck in.

ionesmum Sat 14-May-05 20:10:48

I'm at home an inordinate amount of time but seem to spend my time entertaining and feeding two small people rather than pottering, sadly. Actually the main reason I want to make cordials is we've had loads of colds, and elder and rosehip are really good for the immune system and to fight off viruses. I can get elderflower in the shops but it isn't cheap, and you can't get elderberry any more, nor rosehip.

moondog Sat 14-May-05 20:13:53

Remember my mother making gallons of rosella cordial with her home economics students when I was a kid. Couldn't move for the things.

ionesmum Sat 14-May-05 20:29:12

What's rosella? (sorry, probably being dense...)

moondog Sat 14-May-05 21:38:13

No you're not. Similar to rosehips but grow in the tropics where we were at the time. needs must and all that.

ionesmum Sat 14-May-05 21:39:18


chenin Sat 14-May-05 21:43:11

Everyone can find eldeflower bushes/trees - they are large white tiny flowers on large flower heads - when they come out they are on the roadside everywhere. We just walk up our local lane and pick loads so youdon't have to grow it yourself!!!

chenin Sat 14-May-05 21:44:10

Sorry - I mean tiny white flowers on large flower heads!

moondog Sat 14-May-05 22:03:43

we knew what you meant,hellie

chenin Sat 14-May-05 22:04:59

Thanks! Must be the bottle of red wine I've just had with DH (plus the white wine!!)

ionesmum Sun 15-May-05 14:57:11

Our garden is quite wild so we have a lot of native plants like elder, dog roses, sloes and brambles. We are hoping to move and I'm trying to find seedlings to dig up and take with us!

giraffeski Sun 22-May-05 20:16:33

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ionesmum Sun 22-May-05 20:52:27

Good for you! Our elderflowers aren't out yet.

giraffeski Sun 22-May-05 22:16:23

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chenin Mon 23-May-05 07:31:57

Ours aren't out yet but DD2 is on 'elderflower' watch and checks every few days! I bought two lots of citric acid last week to dubious looks from the lady in Boots as it has bad connotations (used by heroin addicts!). Hope it is good for you!!

giraffeski Wed 01-Jun-05 23:21:13

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chenin Sun 05-Jun-05 14:57:50

I'm just about to make my first batch this week as the flowers are only just out with us but gotta wait for a sunny day to pick!! Have managed to get hold of some under-the-counter citric acid so ready to go!

giraffeski Sun 05-Jun-05 15:24:37

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suedonim Sun 05-Jun-05 15:32:14

We have a large elder plant in our garden and I love elderflower cordial so may give your recipe a try, Helliebean! There was a spread in yesterday's Telegraph mag about making elderflower cordial at Bevoir and some recipes for fried elderflowers and a cakey-thing. Yum

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