Recipe Honeysuckle Cordial

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I have to confess this one is a first for me: Honeysuckle Cordial.

So first thing this morning, I was up (mostly because my OH's 6am Monday morning taxi failed to turn up and I had to take him to the railway station) and out picking elderflowers and honeysuckle blossoms. Now there are 2 types of wild Honeysuckle. The normal yellow & white flowered variety which we all think of as the wild honeysuckle and then there is also one with pink flowers. If you pick the flowers from the pink version, you will have a honeysuckle coridal with a pink tint.

There are very few recipes out there for Honeysuckle Cordial and pretty much all of them say the same thing and promptly contradict themselves. Follow the Elderflower Cordial recipe, but then they match sugar ratios with the Nettle Cordial recipe and unlike the Elderflower Cordial recipe, the blossoms go into the boiling sugar syrup and then they are back to the elderflower cordial recipe for times and adding lemon and you are in a mess before you know it,

So I have adapted and modified the 2 variations of recipes I could find. This is because we (in this household) find that way too much sugar is put into things etc. I also had a double batch of blossoms - it was a good morning. Also there is some dissension as to whether you need the buds or the open flowers. I settled for the flowers because they are the ones with the nectar (sweetness & flavour) and fragrance, rather than the pollen.

Ingredients
  • 8 cups of Wild Honeysuckle blossom (think around half a carrier bag or filling a 2.5L bowl crammed full)
  • 1L of water
  • 3 cups of granulated white sugar - roughly 700g I think.
  • 4 lemons thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp citric acid.
Method
  • Time consuming bit - all of the green bits, stems and stalks need removing, so each and every flower needs pulling off the stem. Also remove any flowers that have started to really brown. Have fun and sit back and watch something whilst you do this.
  • In a large pan, dissolve the sugar and citric acid in the boiling water.
  • Add the thinly sliced lemons to the sugar syrup and bring the mixture back to the boil
  • Add the picked over blossoms and mix in well.
  • Leave covered for a day only, stirring from time to time.
  • Strain & bottle in the usual sterile bottles.
Bottling is tomorrow, but some pictures to keep you going.

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Yep - I know, I was running out of pans. Next to it is the next batch of Elderflower Cordial and my mixing bowl was catching the straining Nettle Cordial...
 
Wow, never heard of that one!
Currently trying to find a field full of dandelions as well. Want to try some dandelion flower cordial, but need lots of dandelions flowers (several hundred from what I can tell). Also on the list of possible cordials is Dandelion & Burdock Cordial as well, but that requires the roots, so I need to establish if my landlady has any burdock on her land first - she will happily allow me to dig up 3 roots which I need for the recipes.

The Honeysuckle cordial smells delicious and has a really nice flavour (I took a teaspoon full out at the last stirring!). Looking forward to bottling it tomorrow, at least bottling what I can because I am running out of bottles...

Plum jam is later in the week, with strawberry and raspberry to follow next week I think.
 
I had dandelion jam at a Chambres d'Hote in France, it was lovely, subtle flavour with a dazzling golden colour. That place was fantastic. There were 8 different home made jams at the breakfast table..
 
There seemed to be loads of dandelions earlier in the year, I remember seeing verges full of them as NT and I drove somewhere, they seemed to be the only thing flowering in the cold spring. Not so many about now..
 
OK - the bottled product is probably not going to survive long. It is simply delicious. I can't explain the flavour but it is wonderful. For whatever mad reason 1.0L of water has made 1.7L of Cordial, so once again I don't have enough bottles... It has a lovely subtle yellow colour and currently is slightly cloudy which is most likely pollen again. A week to stand & settle will soon tell.

IMG_5989.JPG
 
I've mentioned Honeysuckle Cordial to a few people at work and they've all gone :o_o:, and then thought for a bit and then gone :thumbsup:.

I'll be passing the recipe onto one person who has honeysuckle at the end of her garden. There is some on our reserve apparently, but not a lot, although it can be propagated fairly easily.

Then, I had a random thought.

Fuchsia Cordial? I know fuchsias have edible berries, and as a kid I remember pinching the flowers off and sucking out the tiny drop of very sweet nectar that came out. So they're not poisonous. I think.

The colour would be amazing! I suppose you'd just have to experiment with sugar levels. A quick google didn't throw up any recipes.

BTW, we were helping at our charity concert last night, and NT and I were doing the interval refreshments. We had tea, coffee, orange juice and homemade elderflower cordial, made from flowers from the reserve. We served up 4 teas, 2 coffees, no juice, and 4 jugs of cordial! We had to keep making up more, it was frantic!

I also found that a mix of half cordial (made up with water, not neat) and half orange juice is a very nice cocktail...
 
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