At this time of year, the hedges are full of Whitethorn and Lilac.
Lilac in particular has a wonderful colour and smell, and how can something that smells so sweet not taste good? While Lilac flowers ARE edible, they smell better than they taste, bur they are wonderful as a garnish, cake topping or water-infusion. The tiny pretty blossoms look beautiful on salads or desserts, or they can be preserved to decorate cakes at any time.
Homemade Cordial is an ideal way to capture this intoxicating scent and taste and colour long after the flower fades…..
This basic recipe for lilac cordial can also be used for Elderflower Cordial when they blossom next month.
6-10 fresh lilac heads
2 litres of boiled water
1kg of sugar
2 whole organic lemons, washed
Optional: 2TBSP of citric acid to help preserve. Or, simply add two more lemons.
- Gather approximately 6-10 heads of lilac blossoms. It’s best to harvest on a sunny day when the blooms are certainly dry. Harvest them when they are fresh and newly opened blooms as opposed to wilting, browning blooms that are on their way out.
- Boil 2 litres of water. Add 1kg of sugar to the boiled water to dissolve.
- Pour over the lilac and lemons. Add 2TBSP of citric acid to help preserve the finished project – or add two more lemons to the recipe.
- Make sure the blooms and lemons are submerged under the hot water. Fasten a lid on the jar. Let it stand on the counter for 3-5 days.
- Taste it after 3 days. You can add more sugar if you prefer . Some recipes actually double the amount of sugar used here.
- After 5 days, strain the cordial through a fine mesh strainer, and place it in sterilized bottles. You can use canning jars, or pretty antique jars so long as the lid is tightly fastened. Just remember to label it with ingredients and a date.
- Keep it in a cool or cold storage. It can last for up to a year if stored correctly.
Try it with sparkling or plain water and ice.
You can drizzle it over pancakes, ice cream, or crepes.
Add a delicious twist to a G&T.
If you want to enjoy some cut lilacs in your home, there is a trick to making them stay fresh. Because they are woody, you need to strip off the bark and bash the bottom. Just peel off the bark from the bottom 1-2 inches then smash the end with a knife or your pruners. It works every time for me and the lilacs will stay vibrant for weeks!