Now is the time to be collecting Elderflower. The Elder tree is an important and revered tree in most European countries. It is known as the Queen of the forest, and has many beneficial medicinal properties. You can dry the flowers for use over winter as a tea to help ward off respiratory illnesses and reduce fevers, or you can make a lovely cordial from the delicate fresh sprays. We add it to sparkling water and lemon for a refreshing drink.
For a great Christmas Day cocktail, add a dash of Elderflower cordial, top up with equal parts of sparkling wine and sparkling water and garnish with a sprig of Mint and a Calendula flower (or any other edible flower you have growing in your garden).
Collect the flowers on a sunny day, in the mid afternoon if you can… wet flowers will end in disappointment. Treat them with care. Try to collect blooms that have just flowered.
Always make sure you are certain of the plant if you are collecting from the wild.
20 – 25 Elderflower sprays
2 Lemons (rind and juice)
2 Oranges (rind and juice)
250ml light honey
2 L Water
Put flowers, rind, juice and honey into a pot.
Cover with boiling water and let steep for 24 hours. Make sure flowers are submerged or they can turn brown and affect the taste.
Put into sterilised bottles and store in the fridge.