This time of year I start getting impatient for elderflowers. But if the weather stays as it has been, the chances are they’ll be late, low yielding and, even worse, the best days to pick – dry and sunny – will be few and far between.
So I began to look for alternatives and the first reference I found was for lavender cordial It may be very pleasant, but my few experiences with lavender in food and drink have been unsatisfactory. I found the lavender overpowering, although the strength varies according to variety.
Rosemary came to mind. Rosemary beer I’d heard of, but rosemary cordial? Sounds interesting but … too strong a flavour? Too oily?
I decided it was worth a try. Outside Derby’s Quad Gallery there are two places of interest – the bus stop that gets me home once a week and a public herb garden, which I regularly raid for marjoram, thyme and tarragon to chuck in a quick tomato sauce when I get home.
And there’s lots of rosemary.
The recipe calls for 50grms mint leaves (that’s a lot) and 20grms rosemary leaves and flowers, but remembering John Seymour’s advice on cordials that I relayed in January’s elderflower post I used 20grms of each and it’s really tasty.
Next week I’ll try again, increasing to 30 or 40grms of mint. At a cost of around .50p per litre, which dilutes to 5 or 6 litres, it’s well worth experimenting.