June’s kitchen is smelling fantastic!

When I’m out in the garden at the moment I’m surrounded by wonderful smells! I love Philadelphus and it really is at its best at the moment – such a sweet fruity fragrance. We’ve got one in almost every different bed around the garden specially so that we can smell it everywhere we go!

The other wonderful aroma of course is elderflower and there’s still just about time to make some elderflower cordial – but you do need to be quick! I found some flower heads in a shady spot yesterday so put a batch in to infuse overnight. I always put in a few heads of the pink elderflower – Sambucus Black Lace as it gives the cordial a lovely pink tint. don’t make it with all pink though as it doesn’t have such a string flavour.


Elderflower cordial

Makes about 2 litres

1kg granulated sugar

800ml water

1 lemon

12 big white flower heads (add in 2 or 3 extra pink) – shake well!

40g citric acid (from some chemists)

Sterilised bottles with caps or lids – wash then heat gently in a low oven for about 15 minutes till completely dry – allow to cool. Sterilise lids in a bowl of boiling water for a minute then dry on kitchen roll

  • Pare the skin from the lemons with a peeler and slice the lemon into slices – put in a large bowl along with teh citric acidand elderflowers
  • Put the sugar and water in a large pan and slowly heat and stir to dissolve the sugar. Bring to the boil for just a minute then turn off
  • Pour the syrup over the flower heads and stir a couple of times.
  • Cover and leave for 24 hours to infuse.
  • Use a straining bag or put some muslin cloth in a sieve, put over a large bowl and pour the syrup through. Leave for an hour or so to catch as much syrup as possible!


  • Pour into your bottles and enjoy!

Because you’ve added the citric acid the syrup will keep for several months in a cool dark cupboard but once opened keep in the fridge and enjoy over a few weeks.

Simply dilute to taste with ice cold water, lemonade or sparkling wine