June by janetb


I hauled the heavy stepladder outside to reach the flowers on the Common Elder. It’s gotten so tall over the years. The recipe in Amanda Brooks’ lovely book Farm from Home calls for “18-20 elderflower heads, picked on a dry day before the heads droop.” Check!

I’ve made this elderflower cordial once before. We loved its sweet, floral flavor; heavenly fragrance; and gorgeous golden color; so a batch is in the works for the dinner party we’re having tomorrow night. Whether sipped from a pretty cordial glass or added to a bit of sparkling water in one of the dimpled copper cups (perhaps with a splash of gin?), it tastes of the sweetness of June here on our cherished hill. How I hope our friends will love it as much as we do!


18-20 elderflower heads, picked on a dry day before the heads droop
2 unwaxed lemons, juiced and thinly peeled*
4 cups water, brought to a boil
5 cups granulated sugar

*Use sharp paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove thin strips of the bright yellow skin, leaving the pith behind.

Shake the elderflowers while picking to remove any debris or insects. Put the flowers and lemon peels into a large bowl and add the boiling water. Cover with a dishcloth and leave to infuse for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.

Strain through cheesecloth to remove any additional debris or insects. Discard the flowers. Transfer the infused water to a heavy pan with the sugar, and heat slowly over a low flame, stirring until all the sugar has dissolved. Add the lemon juice, bring back to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

Pour the cooled liquid into a glass bottle that has been sterilized with boiling water. Seal tightly and store in refrigerator. (I like to use a pretty decanter or old wine bottle.)

Sip as is or add to sparkling water to taste (a splash of gin can be added to create an Elderflower Gin Fizz.)

This cordial keeps for a few weeks in the refrigerator if tightly sealed.
Sensing your sweet and gracious spirit I am sure your friends will enjoy both your hospitality and your brew! Lovely lighting here!
June 11th, 2021  
I like your depth of field here, makes me wonder what will get washed next under that faucet!
June 14th, 2021  
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