You might have already noticed, that the hedgerows are just full of Elderflower at the moment, and if you haven’t noticed yet, you will now you’ve read this! Even in a City, if you look carefully, I am pretty certain you will spot some hanging over walls or in the park. And with such an abundance, it seems a waste not to make some Elderflower syrup.
With this in mind, I drove up to Devils Dyke yesterday, secateurs in hand, for a good foraging session. I soon found a mass of bushes all heavily laden, so carefully, ensuring to just take a little from each bush, in order not to leave them bare, I filled my basket with the sweetly scented flowers.
Elderflower syrup is very easy to make, all you need is a couple of extra ingredients and some patience:
- About 25 flower heads
- 2 x unwaxed lemons
- 450g caster sugar
- 500 ml water
1. Boil the water, and then add the sugar to it, stirring until it dissolves completely. Leave to cool.
2. Meanwhile, wash the flower heads, and give them a good shake to remove any bugs.
3. Remove the flowers from the stalks, this does take a bit of time, but I found the easiest method, was to roll my fingers and thumb across the stalks, and kind of rub them off.
4. Slice the lemons, and add them to the cooled water and sugar along with the flowers, stir gently.
5. Cover and leave in the fridge for between one and three days, stirring every so often.
6. Once the mixture has infused, lay a clean tea towel over another bowl and pour the syrup through, to strain off the flowers and lemon.
7. Finally, pour the mixture into a sterilised bottle or jar (I sterilise mine in the oven), cover and keep in the fridge for up to 4 weeks.
We tend to add to sparkling water to make a fizzy cordial, but you can add it to champagne, apple juice, or even to desserts.
Let me know if you make some, I would love to hear what you use it for.