Elderflower season is in full swing, the perfect time to turn these frothy blooms into a delicious summer beverage. Our Wild Memories group for people living with dementia in Somerset have been doing just that, see below for their recipe!
You will need:
A bucket, a wooden spoon
2 liters water
2 kg sugar
Basket full of elderflower heads (about 40 flower heads)
4 teaspoons citric acid (optional)
1. Take a basket and go on a stroll looking for elderflower, they tend to like hedgerows, woodland edges, scrub, and roadsides. We avoid collecting from busy roads because of pollution on the flowers. A sunny afternoon is ideal because it gets the flowers really full of pollen and brings out their beautiful scent.
2. Heat up your water in a pan, and add all the sugar, stirring until it melts.
3. While this is going on, trim your flowers from their stems into your (well cleaned) bucket. Slice up your lemons and add those. The citric acid if you are using it (highly recommended as it adds a zingy balance to the sweet)
4. Then, pour the hot sugary water onto the bucket of flowers.
5. Leave it to brew for 24 hours, then strain and add to clean bottles.
6. Keep in the fridge and use within a few weeks. It might start fermenting due to the natural yeasts on the elderflower, as long as it still tastes good then it’s fine to drink even if it gets a bit fizzy.
I don’t sterilise it because this will also knock out some of the medicinal value of the elderflower.
Delicious added to a dry cider, a gin and tonic, or good old chilled water!