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Black Elder & Orange breakfast mocktail

'Tis the season for Elderflower foraging!

We're off into the hills to collect the delicious elderflower.

We have recently planted a lot of broadleaf trees and amongst them are 4 new elder saplings. Whilst we wait for them to mature we have plenty of other old elder trees to collect from.

We also have an ornamental variety in the garden the Sambucus Nigra ('Black Lace'), which we were keen to make use of this year.

We're sprucing up the breakfast OJ into a Mocktail. This recipe will step you through how to make the black elder cordial:


For the cordial

20 large, healthy flower heads

1.2 litres water

2 lemons

75g citric acid

1.8 kg caster sugar

1/2 campden tablet

For the mocktail

4 oranges

1 lime

1/4 pint sparkling water


1 large jam pan

1 large heat resistant mixing bowl



Wooden spoon

Small mesh sieve

Fruit blender

Step 1)

Outside, give the elder heads a little shake and then turn upside down and place on some paper and leave for an hour. This will 'encourage' any bugs to vacate their property.

Remove any stalks

Put the heads to one side in a large heat-tolerant bowl.

Step 2)

Sugar goes in a jam pan, and add all the water. Bring to the boil.

All the sugar needs to have disolved before the next step

Step 3)

Take the rind off the lemon in strips using a veg peeler. Slice whats left of the lemon. Add all of it to the bowl with your elder heads.

Step 4)

Pour the boiling sugar syrup over the heads, and stir in the citric acid.


Leave to steep for 24 hours at room temp.

Step 5)

Strain the cordial and stir in the campden tablet.


Make the Mocktail

  • Blend the oranges and strain to make a tart orange juice

  • Add 35ml of the cordial and stir (add more to taste)

  • Add to a chilled glass with large icecube

  • Top up with sparkling water

  • Garnish with a wedge of lime

  • Take a seat on the terrace

  • Put feet up

  • Enjoy!

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