It was a cold and frosty late afternoon on December 30th when Zillah and I decided to go chasing Gorse flowers. Vibrantly bright, Gorse certainly isn’t a timid plant. I love to graze on Gorse flowers when I walk. The sweet nectar that hides itself away at the bottom of the bud trickles onto my taste buds.
Today we gathered enough Gorse flowers to make a gorgeous Mid-Winter cordial you can have as a refreshing drink, or why not try it dribbled liberally over ice-cream.
A sweet, delicate cordial that becomes infused with the subtle coconut flavour of Gorse. It’s actually best to make this recipe in the Spring time when the flavour of the Gorse flowers is stronger. But we couldn’t resist this Mid-Winter treat, and although the flavour wasn’t as strong as in Spring time, it still makes a lovely drink.
Gather 4 large handfuls of Gorse flowers.
Measure out 250g/1/2lb of caster sugar.
Measure out 600ml/21fl oz of cold water.
Bring the water and sugar mixture to a rapid boil and keep boiling for 10 minutes. Remove pan from the heat.
Juice 1 lemon
Grate the zest of 1 orange.
Measure 4 handfuls of Gorse flowers.
Add the lemon juice, orange zest, and Gorse flowers to the sugar water (syrup). Stir in well and leave until cooled or overnight.
Strain the liquid through muslin or a jelly bag into a clean container such as a glass jug.
You should end up with roughly 500ml/18fl oz of liquid.
Pour into a sterile bottle, cap and store. Refrigerate once you have given into temptation. Enjoy your Gorse flower cordial syrup.
Robin is a forager and self-taught ethnobotanist. He specialises in wild edible plants and has been running foraging courses throughout the UK since 2008. He travels extensively documenting and recording the traditional and local uses of wild food plants in indigenous cultures.