Thursday, May 31, 2012

Elderflower syrup

Fruit syrup or squash is a drink that was popular during my childhood and is experiencing a renaissance- at least in our family. I am more of a "let the kids drink water" type of parent myself, but my husband comes home with a bottle of syrup increasingly often- to a great delight to all of us, I might add...

photo from
 I decided to make our own syrup, but as we do not have any fruits growing in our garden, I decided to use elderflower blossoms. There are several elderflower bushes in our area (which are in bloom from May to June), but it is important to pick them from bushes located far away from traffic. My aunt picks them at a cemetery...
It is also important to pick the blossoms when they are in bloom and if possible after it had rained.
There are several recipes for making this syrup, but here is the one I used: (I ended up with 3 wine bottles worth of syrup)
25-30 elderflower blossoms (take the dried bits off)
2liters of water
2 kgs of sugar
75gs of lemon tablets/citric acid tablets (a combination of ascorbic acid and apple acid- possibly replaceable by actual lemons)
1. Let the blossoms sit in water for 24 hours with half of the tablets. Cover bowl but stir the liquid once or twice.
2. Remove blossoms from liquid
3. Add sugar and half of the lemon tablets and cook for 35 minutes. Stirring ocasionally and making sure the syrup does not caramelize.
4. Pour syrup into disinfected bottles.

I put the syrup into wine bottles for a rustic feel and decorated the bottles with vignettes.

I  used leftover scraps of wrapping paper, and letter stamps I recently bought. (So glad I got to use it for something :) )
After finishing with the letters, I rubbed a candle over the paper so that the ink from the stamp would not rub off later on hands or clothes:

The end result:

We delude this syrup with water ( I prefer sparkling water) and lemon/lime slices or with lemongrass or mint leaves. The vast amount of sugar used as well as the citric acid preserves the syrup, however it is best to store it in a cool, dry place. It makes a good present for foodies, families and families with children or with sweet teeth. Despite the sugar, it is probably much more healthy than coke, sprite ect...  Having said that, I plan to try a honey based recipe next year.

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