Friday, June 27, 2008

Making Elderflower Syrup

We had a lovely first harvest of elderflowers on Wednesday! Afterwards the tiny flowers were carefully removed from the stems and stalks. This is a rather necessary task as the leaves and stems contain cyanide compounds.This obliging little fellow rolled on his back to show me his pollen bags and wave before he flew off. I must admit, this was a first. Perhaps he was drunk with nectar or the weight of the pollen threw him off balance. whatever the case, I was glad to see it!!
The flowers were then placed in a large pot with one part water and two parts organic sugar to cover. This lovely mixture was brought to a boil and then simmered on low for an hour.The heat was then turned off, the lid put on and the petals were allowed to infuse in the simple syrup overnight.At this point,an addition of a tablespoon of fresh lemon zest and lemon juice is also lovely, but optional.. The aroma is heavenly. The next morning, the flower syrup was strained through a cloth and colander and you bet, the cloth bag was squeezed dry of every drop of nectar!

I was loading up to be on my way to Kutztown, PA to set up a booth for the Kutztown PA German Festival and decided, since it was so hot, to make up a half gallon of this delicious, refreshing beverage for the road. I filled the jar with ice, then added one liter of Pelligrino water. After that I added the juice of two lemons, a half of cup of elderflower syrup and 3 tablespoons of elderberry syrup that was in the fridge. I topped it off with another near quart of Pelligrino water and a sprinkling of fresh elderflowers and gave it a good shake. oh my, was it sooooooo tasty. I will definitely make this again! And I'll have some fun photos from the Festival next week, as well.

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