CAUTION: Although the amounts of herbs/flowers that are used in cooking are generally considered to be safe, Meadowsweet contains salicylic acid and is not recommended for those with an intolerance to aspirin.
Top Tips for a great tasting cordial:
- Meadowsweet stems contain salicylic acid, which has a bitter taste, so for improved flavour, always use the flowers and don't include the stems.
- Bugs love these flowers, so give them a good shake to remove any unwanted insects. Don't worry if you miss some though, as you'll strain the mixture before bottling.
Let's get started - Gather your Meadowsweet Cordial Ingredients:
2 handfuls of flowers, removed from the stems
1 Litre water
250 g sugar (125g sugar + 125g sugar)
juice from 1 lemon
Now the fun part - Make Meadowsweet Cordial!
(1) Once picked, shake the flowers to remove any insects and remove the flowers from the stems.
(2) In a saucepan, bring 1 litre of water to the boil, and add half the sugar (125g) and the lemon juice.
(3) When the sugar has dissolved, turn off the heat and add the meadowsweet flowers.
(4) Steep the flowers in the water/sugar/lemon juice solution for a few hours or overnight. The longer it steeps, the richer the flavour.
(5) Strain the mixture, removing the flowers (and any insects).
(6) Return the flower-infused water to the saucepan, add the remaining 125g of sugar, and boil the mixture for 5 minutes ( ensure the sugar has dissolved.)
(7) Pour the mixture into sterilised bottles (see note below) and cap while hot. Allow to cool, and store in a cool, dark place. This makes a thin cordial that is delicious when added to still or fizzy water, with a slice of lemon, and also makes a lovely hot drink. If you'd like the cordial to be more of a syrup, add more sugar and dissolve, until you get the desired consistency.
Note: To sterilise bottles, place them in a cool oven, turn the oven to 100 Celsius . Once the oven has come to temperature, heat the bottles for 20-25 minutes.
Facts you might not know about Meadowsweet:
- Meadowsweet was also traditionally known as 'Queen of the Meadow', 'Lady of the Meadow', and 'Brideswort'.
- It was a very popular strewing herb during Medieval times, due to it's lovely scent, was also used to make perfume oil, and was a common ingredient in Mead.
- It is also the key ingredient from which Aspirin was chemically formulated.