My Elderflower and Strawberry Cordial/Syrup is fruity and floral. Ideal to celebrate summer’s a bounty. As well as mixing this pretty pink cordial with water or lemonade, you can also create a fabulous cocktail by mixing it with sparkling wine or champagne.
What is Midsummer’s Eve?
Midsummer’s Eve is the night for faeries, magic and mystical revelry, The day before Midsummer Day, also known as St John’s Day, it is the ancient middle of summer as well as the nativity of St John the Baptist.
Midsummer, not to be confused with the Summer Solstice, is a potent and ancient celebration and until the 21st century, it was observed in Great Britain, with bonfires, the wearing and decorating of flowers, general feasting and merrymaking!
It was also believed that it was the time of the year when witches were abroad, hence the lighting of fires to ward off evil spirits, and if you managed to stay up all night, and were sat in the middle of a stone circle, you might see the “Fae” as in faeries (fairies) and be blessed with good luck for the rest of the year.
Sadly, the bonfires and making merry are not observed so much nowadays, if at all, but if you travel to Cornwall (or France) you may still see some Midsummer bonfires burning bright against the pale summer night sky; and in Scandinavia, they still celebrate this mystical time of year with flowers, berries and other special foods, as well as dancing.
Celebrate Midsummer’s Eve
Although I don’t expect my readers, or myself for that matter, to bedeck themselves in flowers and prance around the woods, exciting and fun though it sounds, it would be nice to “restore” the observance of Midsummer by making something special to eat and drink tonight, as well as eating outdoors with candles and freshly picked flowers to dress the tables…….don’t you think?
A Midsummer’s Night Picnic
We trekked across the grass armed with picnic baskets, cushions, a fold-up picnic table and waited with anticipation for the play to start…….sitting on the grassy bank with the stars and moon as our only light.
I remember candles were scattered about the abbey as we watched as the ancient play unfold. It was a magical evening that I will never forget; even my daughter who was only five years old at the time still remembers this special evening.
I offered to make the picnic, and I remember that I made Coronation Chicken, little pies and pasties filled with tender chicken and pink ham, sandwiches of all sorts along with fresh green salads and a large fruit cake.
Elderflower and Strawberry Cordial/Syrup
I know we took wine, as well as “squash” and juice, but had I made today’s recipe for Elderflower and Strawberry Cordial back then, I feel sure that would have been on the Midsummer Night picnic menu too.
And so my recipe for today is fruity and floral, to celebrate summer’s bounty, and as well as mixing this pretty pink cordial with water or lemonade, you can also create a fabulous cocktail by mixing it with sparkling wine or champagne.
Have a wonderful Midsummer’s Eve and Day, and do let me know what customs and traditions you follow for this special night! Karen
Pin Me Too!
Elderflower and Strawberry Cordial/Syrup Recipe
- 20 to 25 elderflower umbals (heads)
- 2 large lemons
- 1.5kg of caster sugar
- 50g of tartaric or citric acid,
- 2 litres of boiling water
- 450g of hulled and halved strawberries
Step 1: Place 20 to 25 elderflower umbals (heads) shaken free of insects and 2 large lemons that have been sliced in to a large container, preferably one that has a lid.
Step 2: Add 1.5kg of caster sugar and 50g of tartaric or citric acid, then pour 2 litres of boiling water over the elderflower and sugar mixture and stir.
Step 3: Allow to cool slightly before adding 450g of hulled and halved strawberries and give it all a good mix. Press the strawberries against the sides of the container to squash them slightly, then cover and place in a cool, dark place for 3 days, (72 hours) stirring at least twice a day.
Step 4: When you are ready to bottle the cordial/syrup, strain the mixture in batches through muslin and a sieve and then pour into clean (sterilised) bottles. Seal and store in a cool, dark place for up to a year.
You can use raspberries in place of strawberries.
Nutrition InformationYield 50 servings Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 120Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 2mgCarbohydrates 31gFiber 0gSugar 30gProtein 0g
Nutrition information is an approximate calculation based on the ingredients listed and it can vary according to portion sizes and when different ingredients are used