With elderflower currently in season, I just had to catch up with my old chums Kirsty and Matt Willmott who I’ve known for many years through the young farmers and run their own business called Manor Farm Drinks.
Manor farm drinks is a small independent family business specialising in Elderflower cordial with Elderflowers home grown and hand picked on the farm in Hardwick village Northamptonshire.
Kirsty and Matt have now been making elderflower cordial and handmade soft drinks for over 10 years. They started by attending local events in and around Northamptonshire selling a variety of lemonades and of course their sparkling Elderflower.
The idea of the business came about many years ago when the family had a soft fruit farm in the village. The idea of Elderflower cordial was staring them right in the face in the hedgerows all across the farm.
So one summery June day they set out around the farm foraging for beautiful smelling elderflower bushes and the rest is history. They entered the Northamptonshire food and drink awards in 2018 after spending a long time perfecting their recipe, travelling to foodie events around the country, they came runners up which they were thrilled about!
During lockdown Kirsty and Matt decided to give their lovely Elderflower cordial a makeover with transparent labels that really show off the wonderful and unique golden colour of the cordial and the lovely new tall bottles which really make them stand out.
They currently only produce elderflower cordial but keep your eyes peeled for their next exciting drink in the autumn that they have up their sleeve.
Elderflower cordial is so versatile it can be used in a variety of ways. Most people would only think of pouring elderflower cordial in a glass over ice and topped with sparkling water. It can be used for making wonderful cocktails and mocktails.
Did you know there are so many other ways of using cordial?
You can use it in baking whether it be an elderflower drizzle cake or add it to your buttercream for a twist on a classic. Manor Farm Drinks favourite is to make it into a dressing for the perfect summer salad.
Recipe for elderflower dressing:
3 tbsp Elderflower cordial
3 tbsp apple cider vinegar
the zest and juice of 1 lemon
3 tbsp rapeseed oil
In a bowl add all of the above ingredients mix well and drizzle onto your salad to make the most simple recipe with the lovely floral notes of summer.
You can purchase from a lovely list of local stockists which are as follows:
Thomas family farm shop in Burton Latimer
Jeyes of Earls Barton
Whythmails cafe in Orlingbury and The Queens Arms Pub
The Roaming Artisan
The Three Cranes pub in Great Cransley
Dovecote Buttery and farm shop in Newton Village
Mollys pantry in Bletchley
The White Horse pub at Old