With summer upon us, picnics and outdoor eating are hugely popular at the moment, and whether you're celebrating a sporting event or getting the family together, nothing is nicer than enjoying a BBQ, picnic or dinner party outdoors.
At Wares of Knutsford, we always stock up on outdoor dining essentials in time for the warmer months, and we have seen a real rise in demand for swing top bottles. Many of our customers tell us that they are making their own summer drinks, including elderflower champagne, which tastes delicious and can make use of elderflowers in the garden or from the local country lane. Local, nutritious - and delicious!
And for the kids, elderflower cordial has long been a favourite treat that can be made without additives or artificial sweeteners. Discover this simple-to-make cordial with our easy recipe below.
Make your own elderflower cordial
Elderflower cordial is refreshing and beautifully fragrant - and, even better, it's simple to make. Simply combine it with sparkling water to make a pressé, or combine it with prosecco, white wine or champagne to make a cocktail. Its uses don't end there either; you can add a splash to a fruit salad, drizzle it over sorbet, use it to make a jelly, or add a splash to trifle sponges.
To make it, combine 2.5kg of granulated or white caster sugar with 1.5 litres of water in a large saucepan. Gently heat the water until the sugar dissolves, but don't let it boil. Gently stir it occasionally, while you pare the zest from two lemons and then slice the remaining lemons into rounds.
When the sugar dissolves, you can bring the pan to the boil and then take it off the heat. Fill a large washing-up bowl with cold water and use it to gently swish twenty or so fresh and trimmed elderflower stalks. This will remove any bugs or dirt. Gently lift the flowers out and add them to the syrup with the zest, lemons, and 85g of citric acid, which you can buy from the chemist. Stir it well, cover the pan and allow the cordial to infuse for a full 24 hours.
After this time, use a clean tea towel to line a colander and place it over a pan or a large bowl. Gently ladle in the syrup and allow it to drip through slowly. Use a ladle and funnel to pour the syrup into sterilised bottles - which you can do by washing them well with hot soapy water or by using the dishwasher.
From this point, the cordial can be enjoyed at any time and it will store in the fridge for up to six weeks. You can also freeze it into ice cube trays or into plastic containers to save ahead and use when needed.
How to find the perfect elderflowers
The best tip is to pick elders on a hot and sunny day, but before the temperature rises too much. Look for beautiful and fresh flowers with plenty of creamy coloured flowers and then use them in your recipe as quickly as possible.
Our range of swing top bottles
We sell a wide range of glass bottles, including swing top bottles which are ideal for storing and serving beautiful homemade cordials. Put them away in a pantry to preserve your drinks for longer and bring the bottles out in autumn for a memory of summer. You can also serve up your drinks in attractive glass bottles to make a feature of them. Whether you have made elderflower, citrus or berry infusions, the colours will look absolutely beautiful as the sun shines through the glass.
Check out our picnic hampers
Perhaps you have been inspired to get outdoors and enjoy the finest points of summer with a picnic or two? Check out our beautiful and practical picnic baskets which are ideal for dining in style al fresco. Pack your Mason jar salads, swing top bottles packed with homemade drinks, Tupperware filled with fruit salads and small glass bottles ladled with homemade yoghurt or whipped cream to top those strawberries!
The Wares of Knutsford Difference
We are proud to serve our customers with the finest products at the best possible prices. Our customer service is also legendary! We always do our utmost to delight our customers and we recently moved to larger premises so that we could offer a wider range of in-demand glassware and other home essentials, larger pallet sizes and bulk sizes, and even better prices!
Our customer services team is on hand to answer any questions that you might have and our delivery rates are highly competitive. Please sign up to our newsletter for the latest news, offers and competitions and be part of the Wares of Knutsford family!