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Recipe: Rhubarb and elderflower crush

PUBLISHED: 20:27 04 June 2018

Make our rhubarb and elderflower crush  Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis

Make our rhubarb and elderflower crush Picture: Charlotte Smith-Jarvis


Our recipe is a wonderful way to use seasonal fruit and flowers and is amazing with a bit of fizz.

I’ve always found the scent of elderflowers a bit...offputting. On the tree the flowers have an intoxicating fragrance. Once you’ve shoved them in a carrier bag and got them home, they (to me) smell like wee! However once cooked elderflower has an irresistable perfume that brings a touch of magic to anything its petals and pollen come into contact with. Here I’ve cooked them into a luscious fresh cordial made with sticks of rhubarb from dad’s allotment. There’s no citric acid added and I haven’t cooked it down to a syrup, so it needs to be used within a couple of weeks. No problem. It’s lovely over lemon sorbet, vanilla ice cream and rhubarb crumble. Or drizzle it into prosecco or even a glass of cider.

Rhubarb and elderflower crush

(makes a 1lt bottle)

400g caster sugar

15 elderflower heads, washed to remove bugs

5 medium sized sticks rhubarb, chopped roughly

2tbsps apple cider vinegar

Juice 1 lemon

600ml water


Sterilise a 1lt bottle (I used a glass water bottle which is cheaper than buying a Kilner-type one). Place the sugar and water in a large pan and simmer until all the sugar is dissolved. Add the rhubarb and boil then simmer until the fruit is soft. Add the elderflower, vinegar and lemon, turn off the heat and leave to cool for four hours.

Pass through a sieve to remove the rhubarb pulp and elderflowers. Return the liquid to a pan and simmer to reduce by just under a third. Pour into your prepared bottle while still hot and leave to cool.

Store in the fridge and drink within two weeks.

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