I was trimming some of our very overgrown hedges the other afternoon (one of the few recently where it hasn't been pouring with rain!) One of the largeish branches that needed lopping was a piece of elder, with quite a few decent heads of elderflower - so I cut them off and went off into the garden to find a few more. Under our large apple tree I have a black elder 'sambuccus nigra', which has pink flowers - I picked about 6 of the heads - and put them in with the others. I made my elderflower cordial, and to my delight, the colour from the pink heads came through in the cordial!!
Here is what I did!
4 lb caster sugar
2 pints water
3 oz citric acid
2 unwaxed lemons
about 20 heads of elderflower
Put the sugar and water in a pan and bring to the boil, stirring gently to dissolve the sugar.
Pour over the elderflower heads and stir in the citric acid.
Grate in the zest of the 2 lemons, then cut the lemons into slices and add to the mixture. Stir.
Cover the bowl and leave in the fridge for 24 hours to infuse.
Strain the mixture through a seive, lined with muslin, then pour into clean bottles. Seal well. Keep in the fridge or in a cool dark place.
I think elderflower cordial is nicest made with sparkling water!