I am a big fan of fermenting anyway. But this is extra satisfying!! I foraged for the flowers along the River Thames in London, and picked the first batch from my own tree. I also love that, despite all the traditional methods and recipes, I found a way to do this without using refined sugar or boiling it. I found a short video on youtube which explained making cordial. After 3 days, I bottled some of it for cordial and popped that in the fridge- it was lovely and fragrant. Then I experimented. I added a small amount of coconut sugar to the rest for further fermentation in the hope I would get champagne or sparkling elderflower. That’s exactly what I got. Sure, it may not be as fizzy as others, but it was perfectly enjoyable and I am sure as I experiment further, I will perfect it even more.
This is what I did the first time I made this. I will update after the next batch, which I plan to initially ferment longer covered with a cloth, adding more sugar to make sparkling elderflower only. It is a recipe I am sure I will tweak a few times. If you search other recipes, mine differs considerably! This basic recipe is perfect for a raw cordial, that tastes fresh and fragrant.
- 12 Heads of Elderflower
- 12 dates
- 1 sliced lemon
- 1.5 litres of water, filtered if possible
- 3 teaspoons coconut sugar
- The elderflowers should not be washed. Simply shake or gently pick off any bugs. Cut the long green stems and place the elderflowers in a large and very clean glass jar. The second time around, I am fermenting a larger quantity in a plastic bucket and covering with a cloth, which is the more common method.
- Add the lemons and dates, and cover with water. Place the lid on your jar.
- Stir vigorously every day.
- Allow to ferment for 3 days.
- On day 3, I drained and bottled some of this for a simple, raw cordial.
- The remaining litre was bottled separately and I added 3 teaspoons of coconut sugar. I used a flip top Kilner bottle, which has a rubber ring. This is supposed to prevent explosions, but I doubt I had enough sugar for this to happen anyhow.
- I burped the elderflower every day, just by opening the top.
- After 10 days, we found it fizzy enough to drink.
- Keep refrigerated.
We drank the sparkling elderflower within a couple of days but the cordial is lasting well over a week later.
- I am fermenting a second batch, in a bucket, see above, and leaving for longer initially. I am leaving it covered with a cloth for 7-10 days before I drain and bottle it.
- The second time around I have used half dates, half coconut sugar. I want to experiment a bit with the taste, however the cordial the first time around was sweetened only with dates and was delicious.