The season seems to be turning now with the occasional nip in the air and the trees and hedgerows are laden with autumn fruit. This drink is most definitely an autumn delight which is packed with vitamin C to help fight off the colds that are so often rife as this time of year.
This recipe is based on one I found in this months Country File magazine with some extra spices and less sugar added than the original. Don't be surprised if it smells like Christmas in your house after making this. It is very easy to make and you can also pick a double batch and freeze half the elderberries to make a second batch later in the year, just remember to leave plenty of fruit on the trees for all the local birds and animals. I foraged for these elderberries from some local hedgerows. In the UK elderberries (Sambucus nigra) are common all over on scrubby areas and in hedges. If you cannot get elderberries you could always try this recipe with blackcurrants or blackberries instead.
Spiced Elderberry Cordial
Vegan, vegetarian, dairy free, gluten free
300g /10.5oz Elderberries
3cm/1.5inch Crushed fresh ginger
1 Cinnamon stick
Strips of zest from 1/2 lemon
3tbs Lemon juice
- Wash the elderberries and then remove the berries from the stalks by teasing them off with a fork into a pan.
- Add the water and bring to the boil over a medium heat. Add the cloves, ginger, cinnamon and lemon zest and allow to simmer over a low heat for around half and hour or until berries have yielded their juice.
- Mash the berries to ensure they release all the juices and then strain the pan contents through a sieve. Return the juices to the pan and add the sugar and if necessary a spot more water and the lemon juice.
Bring to the boil for 5 mins and then pour into sealable bottles. Seal and store them in the refrigerator where it will keep for 3 months plus.
- It is ready to use straight away and can be add to hot or cold water to taste.