A couple days ago, my son and I picked elderflowers. Just seeing the bush covered in its pale yellow umbels made my heart jump. That was a reminder that it is June, time for elder flowers, and time to make delicious elder syrup.
Recipe for the Elderflower Syrup
25-30 Elder flower umbels
1 liter water
1 organic lemon
In a pot, mix the water and the syrup, bring to a simmer and stir until sugar completely dissolves. Wash the lemon and cut into slices, discard the ends. You can lightly rinse the flowers, but it will wash off a lot of pollen and therefore lessen the taste. I did not wash mine, just laid them out in the sun and allowed the bugs to crawl off.
Alternately layer flowers and lemons in a jar. Push them down. Then fill the jar with the hot syrup mixture. Close the lid and allow to rest for 24-48 hours, sometimes gently turning the jar over.
After completion of the extraction time, strain syrup into a pot through a wet cheese cloth or thin kitchen towel (wet because the cloth won’t soak up as much syrup as it would if dry). Wring out the flowers and press out the lemons. Bring the syrup to a boil (for about 1-2 minutes, or until you achieve the desired thickness). Pour into clean sanitized (with boiling water) bottles, close, and allow to cool off.
Enjoy some of the syrup in a glass of sparkling water or as a ‘Hugo’ – one of Europe’s favorite refreshing summer drinks (see recipe below).