Mid to late July is when the beautiful Elderflower shows her lacy skirts, and I fill a basket with these blossoms, steep them in a honey and lemon water, reap the benefits (good for the sinuses), and reward my family with a bubbly Prosecco cocktail. Simply fill a champagne glass with ice; pour cordial over top, and add Prosecco; stir gently to combine, garnish with raspberries (in season), and thin sliced lemon.
A beautiful species, the shrub’s flowers and berries have long been used in European households as a homemade medicinal staple, and a refreshing Summer drink with sparking wine or mineral water.
Steeping Instructions as follows:
15 to 20 heads of elderflower, picking off any bugs etc. and making sure that the flowers are open with no brown bits.
5 cups of water
4 cups sugar
4 tablespoons local honey
1 unwaxed organic lemon
Place the sugar and honey in a large stainless saucepan with the water and bring to a gentle boil to dissolve the sugars, then take from the heat.
Grate the lemon and add the zest to your mixture. Place the flower heads in the liquid with the heads down, and make sure the flowers are completely covered in liquid so the pollen can steep. Squeeze the lemon for the juice, put the saucepan in a cool place with the lid on, and leave to steep and infuse for up to 48 hrs.
Strain the liquid with a fine sieve, and pour into a clean jar and store in the fridge for up to 1 month. Use as desired!
One had a French father, the other an English mother (raised in a French convent). The one with the English mother adored lace. She would hide in the attic at her father’s chateau, and rummage through boxes and trunks of the finest french lace... Continue reading →