Perfect summer drink! This fragrant and refreshing drink is very popular in the early days of summer. Making elderflower syrup at home is easy and requires only few ingredients.
Elderflowers are the scent of summer!
Elderflowers are ready around late May to mid-June. They’re best picked when the buds are freshly open on a warm, dry, sunny day.
Tips for picking your own elderflowers:
Avoid picking from roadsides and polluted areas
Picking when the flowers have fully opened and very fragrant
Pick large, unblemished elderflowers.
12 large elderflower heads
400g caster (granulated) sugar
3 organic lemons, untreated
4 l water
1. In a large pan, over low heat, combine the sugar, water, juice and zest of 2 lemons, until the sugar dissolves, stirring constantly. Don’t bring to a boil! It will kill the bacteria needed for fermentation. When the sugar has dissolved completely, remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.
2. Meanwhile, gently shake and remove any insects from the elderflower blossoms. Do not wash them! Washing the elderflowers would remove the pollen and much of the flavor.
If you wish to wash them: Fill a bowl with cold water and give the flowers a gentle swish. Remove all the green stems, keeping just the little flowers (the stems and the leaves are toxic).
3. Cut the remaining lemon into slices. In a large glass jar, alternate a handful of flowers with a few slices of lemon, and top the last layer of flowers with lemons. Pour the syrup over the elderflowers and lemon. Stir well.
4. Cover with a clean cloth and leave to macerate for 3-4 days; stirring one time/day.
5. Using a sieve or a colander lined with cheesecloth, strain the elderflower syrup. Pour the syrup into sterilized bottles. Store in the fridge for one week.
Note: The best way to enjoy elderflower syrup is to mix it with tap water or sparkling water, and add lemon slices if you like. You can also add a few ice cubes and a leaf of mint.
Let us dance in the sun, wearing wild flowers in our hair. ― Susan Polis Schutz