elderberry cordial, from bush to mug

We have made cordial!

Bilberry and Birch

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We have a large elderberry bush in the garden, and we’ve been watching it closely for the past couple of weeks. The berries have been formed for a while now, and it’s a fine balance between them being ripe enough to pick, and birds stripping the bush. Yesterday we decided it was time to harvest.

We got a good haul from the lower branches, but we did leave plenty higher up for the birds. Our plan was to make elderberry cordial, but in the event we got enough to make some jam too. Those have gone into the freezer for another day.

We follow a recipe from James Wong’s book Grow Your Own Drugs. He recommends taking a spoonful to ward off winter coughs and colds, but we prefer to dilute it it with hot water and drink it by the mugful. It’s a bit like hot Ribena, but with…

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