This delicious elderflower cordial is based on table sugar that is turned to invert syrup and flavoured with dried elderflowers and winemaking ingredients. It’s pleasantly acidic and sweet and perfect for mixing to drink or to sweeten other foods.
For the invert sugar syrup:
750 g white sugar
About 1.5 L Water
0.75 g citric acid
To flavour your beverage:
2 unwaxed lemons (Zest only)
25g Dried Elderflower
Acid blend to taste
Tannin to taste
Place 750 g sugar, 700 ml water and 0.75 g (The tip of a teaspoon) of citric acid in a 5 litre pot heat on medium. Stir to dissolve the sugar. Increase the heat to high and heat until the solution reaches 114 °C. The temperature of the solution will increase gradually while the water boils off but once it reaches about 108 °C then it will speed up and reach 114 very quickly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool for 30 minutes. When the syrup is at a safe temperature but not cold, add approximately 500 ml of cool water to restore the volume to 1 litre.
Add the elderflowers and stir gently but thoroughly to immerse. Add the zest of the lemons and stir. Cover and allow to cool to room temperature then transfer to the fridge for 24 hours.
After steeping, strain the solution through a fine metal sieve.
Now blend the acid level to taste using foodsafe acids. Tartaric and Phosphoric acid give the best flavour in my opinion, but you can also use ascorbic, citric and malic if desired. Usually the best effect is achieved by using at least two types of acid.
Every time you adjust the acid, take a sample on the tip of a teaspoon and mix it with a splash of water to get a sense of the flavour and acidity of the finished beverage. You want the acid profile to be pleasing, and for the concentration of flavour and acidity to be balanced when mixed (so you don’t have more acid than flavour or more flavour than acid, which would make it impossible to dilute the beverage to a pleasing taste.)
When you have the acidity right, add some wine tannin, not more than a quarter teaspoon at a time, and taste. The tanin should produce a pleasing dryness balanced with the acidity and flavour. It is better to underestimate if unsure as tannin is about mouthfeel and will improve the cordial when a whole glass is consumed.
When you are finished, mix up a glass of cordial and confirm your desired concentration. Bottle and label. Keep in the fridge in a sealed bottle for use and it should keep a few weeks, or freeze into ice cubes if you want a clever way to keep it longer.