Here are three recipes for elderflower drinks you can make very easily. The champagne (no. 2) is my personal favourite. I've just downed a bottle of it (it's non-alcoholic - at least I think so!) while sitting here.
1 ‘Instant elderflower lemonade’ as we make at the group
Some boiling water
Squeeze lemon juice into pot, add flowers (not stalks), sugar and water, mix, come back in an hour, strain and drink! Sing lots of songs and do various bits of magic over the pot as you go. Make children feel very honoured at being trusted with very hot water.
2 Elderflower champagne (non-alcoholic fizz – really like magic! Uses the natural yeasts found on the elderflowers)
Makes about 6 litres
36 elderflower heads
680g caster sugar
3tbsp white-wine or cider vinegar
4.5 litres water
Remove stalks and put flowers in clean bucket/large pan, along with lemon juice and rind (no pith!), sugar and vinegar. Add cold water, stir to dissolve sugar, and leave for at least 24 hours. Strain through muslin or jelly bag into sterilised bottles with screw caps, corks or flip-over lemonade tops. Leave for TWO WEEKS. Check occasionally that they aren’t getting too fizzy – if so you’ll need to open the tops to let the excess gas off or else they might explode!
3 Elderflower cordial (keeps for a year or more, dilute to taste)
Per litre cordial use:
12 elderflower heads
1 pt water
Water, sugar and rind (no pith!) together in pan, heat till sugar dissolved. Remove stalks and stir flowers into this syrup. Cool completely. Add lemon juice. Strain through muslin or jelly bag and put in sterilised bottles.
NB. To sterilise bottles you don’t need special tablets, just fill them with boiling water and leave for a while.
NB2. For all recipes, try and get fresh, whitey-yellow elderflower heads, not the slightly ‘off’ looking (and smelling) brownish ones.