Sunday, 25 March 2012

elderflower sirup

Spring has really started now, and in a month or so it will be  elderberry blossoms  time! You can find   Elder-flower in a lot of places along the side of the road, they are very fast growers and give lots of flowers that produce a fresh smell that you can bottle as a syrup and even turn into Elder-flower champagne with a very little bit of alcohol.

To make syrup pick about 20 (or more!) elderberry blossoms when they are open and full of pollen and put in a bucket with enough water to keep them fully submerged. I usually put a plate on top to keep them under water. 
Add a sliced lemon to the water and leave for a night and a day. 
Then pour through a sieve into a pan and add a generous amount of sugar, at least about 500 gr. per liter. The sugar will make the syrup sweet but also conserve it, so don't try to be healthy and use too little. You will need less syrup when you use enough sugar to make it.
Cook the mixture to allow the sugar to dissolve fully. 

In the meantime sterilize enough empty and rinsed (wine)bottles by submerging them in a sink filled with very hot water with soda. Always do this, even when you are using new bottles, to make sure your syrup will keep and not become moldy...   

Pour the hot syrup in the bottles, using a funnel (also sterilized in the hot soda-water) 
Close bottles and set aside for later use. After opening a bottle keep refrigerated.
Pour some cold water in the pan that you used for cooking and drink your first syrup immediately, it has a very delicate and good taste! 

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