Summer has well and truly arrived and it’s elderflower season. Follow our step by step guide to forage your own and have a go at making our delicious One Gin Butterfly Fizz.
We know that elderflower season was a few months ago (mid-May to June) when the Elder trees flower and is the best time to go and collect them as they still have most of their pollen but we thought we’d include a little foraging guide
Wear clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty and make sure you have long sleeves and trousers on as Elder trees (where we get the Elderflowers from) tend to be surrounded by stinging nettles!
Collect the Elderflowers on a sunny morning before it gets too hot. They are found all over the UK and are generally white (although you can sometimes find amazing purple ones). If you still aren’t sure by the look, the smell is a dead giveaway! Choose trees that are as far away from a road as possible as they will be less exposed to pollution from traffic. Try to avoid over harvesting the one tree too much as the insects and birds need them too. When collecting, just snip them at the base of the bushy bit and try to avoid getting any leaves in with it.
40 Elderflower heads
3 Litres of water
170g Citric Acid
5kg white sugar
In the biggest pot you have (or as many pots as you need) heat up the water until almost boiling and add in the sugar. Occasionally stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Once all the sugar has dissolved, bring to the boil and as soon as it has come to the boil take it off the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Rinse the Elderflower heads in some cold water to give them a bit of a clean and get rid of any creepy crawlies that might be on there. Add the heads to you sugar syrup (I had to transfer them into a larger container, but you can put them straight into the pot if you have enough space)
Zest the lemons and cut the rest into rounds and throw it all in there along with the citric acid and give it a good stir. Put the lid on it or cover it and leave it for 24 hours.
Strain the liquid through a muslin cloth or coffee filter (you can use a clean tea towel if you don’t have either of these) and divide the liquid into bottles or containers and store in the fridge for up to 6 weeks (It is also suitable for freezing in a plastic container).
If you aren’t able to collect your own elderflower to make this delicious cordial, not to worry, there are lots of easy alternatives that you can find at your local supermarket like Bottle Green Elderflower Cordial or Teisseire Fleur De Sureau Elderflower. Perfect for making our delicious cocktail of the month, the One Gin Butterfly Fizz.
One gin butterfly fizz
This cocktail is a perfectly refreshing long cold drink to have in the garden with friends. It makes a great pitcher also, just use 4x the ingredients.
50ml One Gin Crisp Apple
20ml Homemade Elderflower Cordial
15ml lemon juice
2 slices of Cucumber (cut into strips)
6 mint leaves
top with soda (or pressed apple juice if you’d prefer)
Give the mint leaves a bit of a rub to release aromas, and drop into a highball glass.
Add the rest of the ingredients apart from the soda water.
Fill the glass almost to the top with crushed ice (you can easily make crushed ice by bashing some cubed ice up in a tea towel with a rolling pin) and churn it all together with a long spoon so the ingredients are evenly spread out throughout the drink.
Fill the glass up to the top with more crushed ice (the more the better as it keeps the drink cold and stops it from watering down too quickly)
Top with soda (or pressed apple juice if you prefer) and garnish with a cucumber slice and a mint sprig (gently brush the mint sprig on your hand to release the aromas) and drink with a straw (not plastic of course!)