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MAKES 800ML In New Zealand, el­der­flower grows abun­dantly in spring in the South Is­land. Fur­ther north it can be a bit hard to find, but you can buy plants at gar­den cen­tres. Old wis­dom sug­gests you should pick the flow­ers on a sunny day and only pick flow­ers that face the sun. I’m not sure I’ve been able to taste the dif­fer­ence but it does make the pick­ing nicer.

It’s best to use a rose from the gar­den; shop-bought ones tend to be sprayed, so aren’t good to use in cook­ing. And don’t worry that the in­fused liq­uid doesn’t look very ap­peal­ing: when the lemon juice is added, the rose’s in­tense colour will re­turn like magic. The cor­dial keeps in a ster­ilised bot­tle in the fridge for at least a month. 2 un­waxed lemons 100g el­der­flower heads (about 12 heads) 1 small red rose (see note above), petals picked 325g caster su­gar 125ml lemon juice (3-4 lemons) Fill and boil the ket­tle. Peel the zest from the lemons in long strips. Put the el­der­flow­ers into a large bowl with the lemon peel and rose petals. Pour over 500ml of boil­ing wa­ter and press down the flo­rets, mak­ing sure they’re sub­merged. Leave to cool, then cover the bowl and leave to in­fuse at room tem­per­a­ture for about 36 hours.

Strain the in­fu­sion into a medium saucepan, press­ing the flow­ers with the back of a spoon, to re­lease all the liq­uid, then dis­card the flow­ers, branches, peel and rose petals. Add the su­gar and lemon juice to the in­fu­sion, then turn the heat to high and cook for 3-4 min­utes, stir­ring un­til the su­gar has dis­solved and the liq­uid is start­ing to sim­mer. Take off the heat, leave to cool, then pour into a ster­ilised bot­tle. Seal and store in the fridge for up to a month.

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