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Elderflower syrup.


The black elder was in flower last week.

That's Sambucus nigra, as opposed to the red-berried elder (Sambucus racemosa), the flowers of which aren't edible (as far as I'm aware).
Botanically, most blue and black-berried elder bushes are Sambucus nigra, these days; no more Canadian elder nor blue-berried elder.

The syrup, then. I call it syrup, cos if I were to write "Elderflower drink" everybody would think it's something alcoholic, and if I had said "Elderflower juice" most of you would have had pictures of elder flowers and a juicer in their heads.

It's easy to make:
15 of those flat elderflower bunches
1 l water (2 pints)
3 lemons
300 g sugar (2/3 lbs)

Remove stems from elder flowers (and yes, I'm aware that some think it barbaric to snip those flower bunches stem and all, but hey, if there's only one black elder, cos it's been planted, it'll never ever make berries - you need two elders for that); the smallest stems are OK, the larger ones aren't.
Pour water into kettle, add flowers, add the juice of two lemons, and peel and slice the third lemon (unless it's organically grown, in which case, use the peel as well).
Let sit overnight.

Strain out everything, add sugar, bring to a boil to let sugar dissolve.

Serve diluted 1:4, that is, one part elderflower syrup to 4 parts water. Dunno how long this would keep as our bush really only had the 15 flowers, and this is tasty enough in the summer heat that it's all gone in no time at all.

Related entries: Black currant leaf drink - Elder toxicity - Sweet flag syrup - Cough syrup


Well here in Illinois we have Elderberry bushes out the Ying Yang.There is no need to hoard the flower heads. It grows wild everywhere. I have two of my own bushes in my yard and there are enough berries and flowers for several families. Harvesting flowers for drinks or tea helps to thin out the future berries which are prolific, and hang so heavy at havest they almost touch the ground. Unless you intend to go into Elderberry farming thinning the flowers makes the best use of the plant for most home uses.

Here is another Elderflower recipe.

Traditional Cold Remedy
Equal amounts of Dried Elderflower, Peppermint leaf, and White Yarrow flowers and leaf. Add clove and cinnamon flavors to taste. Steep 1 tsp. dried herb mix per cup of boiling water. If you make your own Elderberry syrup, add 1 or 2 tsp. to your tea, it will not only fix what ails you but tastes great too! Even kids like this cold remedy.

another good elderflower blend:

combine dried elder blossoms, dried lemon balm, a bit of lemon peel or lemon thyme or lemon verbena and some rosehips. Play around with the propertions, but in mine its mostly elderflower and lemon balm. mmmm...

Jim, please could you give approx. quantities for elderflower cordial made with dried blossoms. Where I live in Australia, I can buy dried flowers @ $9 per 100grams, so would appreciate a rough idea of how much to buy or else it becomes a pretty expensive exercise!

Your help is much appreciated - so thank you! Bella

Cool, I'll try all of those with our local equivalent... black currant leaves. They sure sound delish.

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