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Distanskurs i örtterapi.

Black currant leaf drink.

Botanical name: 
Preparations: 

The black currant leaves are still very healthy-looking.

And they're fully grown, which makes for easy picking.

This is a traditional summer cooler in Finland, where we don't have black elder. (Black elder can be grown in southern Finland, but it'll die back to the ground in severe winters.) So no abundance of elder flowers, but a great abundance of black currant. Which is rare elsewhere: the Germans never talk about it, the 'mercans even had laws against growing it, and I haven't heard Brits talking about it either.

If you do have real black currant (Ribes nigrum) as opposed to the several plants that are sold as black currant because they're currants with dark berries, you can make this summer drink. Black currant leaves have a delicious scent; the others do not.

Here's how (the quick way):
5 l black currant leaves (about 10 pints)
8 l water (about 16 pints)
50 g citric acid (about 2 oz)
1 kg sugar (about 2 lbs)

Put leaf and citric acid in layers into a large kettle. Pour boiling water on top and let sit overnight.

Strain things out, bring the liquid to a boil, and add sugar.

Let cool and serve.

This is as good as elderflower syrup, if not better. I know, cos we did both last week, and served them side by side, and they were almost (but not quite) identical in taste. Yum!

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