Having spent a sunny week-end in the English countryside, I came back with the picture of a young dear running across my path as I jogged (wonderful!) and a posy of creamy elderflower umbrellas. I set to work as soon as I got home and here is the recipe- you’ll have to wait 48h for the final word on it but it’s worth writing it all down now! The season is short for those fragranced blooms…
1 kg of sugar
1 litre of water
10 to 15 heads of fresh elderflowers
2 lemons plus zest
2 teaspoons of citric acid
Pick the flowers, trying to avoid putting in too many of the small stems and reserve in a bowl. Boil the sugar in the water for a few minutes, making sure all the sugar is dissolved. Pour the boiling syrup over the flowers and then the mix back into the pan for a simmer of a few minutes again.
Zest and slice the lemons and lime and put them into the bowl where you now pour back the cooling syrup. Add the citric acid – available at most chemists. My local one stocked it, god bless her!
Leave to steep at least 48hours covered in the kitchen. Later strain it first into a sieve then through a cheese cloth or fine sieve and bottle in clean glass bottles until ready to use.
This drink is sharp and refreshing and encapsulates for me all the pleasures of an English summer in the country – walks in the woods and wild encounters with Bambi included!