I have decided to conduct an experiment. I intend to make several different batches of Elderberry Cordial this year, using different recipe ideas.
I'll post each recipe as I make it, and then add the 'taste test' results at the bottom of each post (as well as a summary Post when I run out of berries). I'll also add information about the preservation qualities of each recipe batch as the winter progresses.
This cordial, when combined with water, is the perfect winter pick-me-up drink, and is also an excellent cold and flu preventative and remedy. It is full of vitamins, especially vitamin C, plus antioxidants and much more.
One last thing - this makes a great Christmas gift, especially if part of a homemade gift box.
Elderberry & Clove Cordial - Recipe 1
Elderberries (cut the whole flower/berry heads from the bush )
1. Pick the elderberries on a dry day. Remove the berries from the stalks by 'combing' them off with a fork. Make sure all insects and mouldy berries are discarded.
2. Stew the berries in a large covered stainless steel saucepan, with just enough water to cover the berries. This will take about 45 minutes. Stir occasionally, but keep covered so as not to allow the juice to evaporate.
3. Strain it all through muslin, squeezing to get all the juice out.
4. To each pint of juice add 1 lb of white granulated sugar and 10 cloves.
5. Boil for 10 minutes.
6. Allow the liquid to cool.
7. Bottle the cordial in sterile bottles with good quality plastic screw-on tops, making sure you distribute the cloves evenly amongst the bottles (they act as a preservative). You can use recycled drink bottles and mini wine bottles are brilliant.
The cordial can be used immediately, but will also keep well for a year or two.
This recipe has a really festive aroma and taste, mainly due to the cloves. The resulting drink, once watered down, is especially nice served hot.
Taken with hot water it is renowned as a guard against colds, and a glass a day through winter is a wise precaution...