I've made elderflower jelly in the past, and this is similar to that recipe (see that post here). According to what I have read online, elderflowers are credited with many medicinal properties. I can't speak to that, but my bush, which is literally right outside my bedroom window, had so many blooms this year I thought I'd try making something different with them.
|Blooms in the bucket|
|After removing the larger stems|
Online recipes vary on how to prepare the blossoms--some say to just leave the flowerheads whole, others say to remove the smaller florets. I chose the latter because sometimes the stems of flowers and berries can be bitter, and even toxic.
Then I sliced 4 large lemons and added to the flowers in the bowl. I covered the mixture with warm (not hot) water, covered it and let it sit at room temperature for a day.
When I got home from storytelling yesterday evening I strained the liquid through cheesecloth twice to be sure all the tiny bits were removed. Then I added 12 ounces of sugar per cup of juice, and 3 tablespoons of lemon juice. I brought this mixture to a boil, stirring at first until the sugar was dissolved.
While that was heating, I sterilized my jars and lids. As soon as my concoction was hot, I ladled it into the hot jars, put the caps on, and popped them into a boiling water bath for 20 minutes.
How does it taste? Well, sweet and lemony with a light floral scent and flavor.
With ice and a little white wine--experimenting!
It's very sweet, which I suppose a syrup should be, right? As a cordial I would expect this to have an alcoholic content, but it did not ferment so...however, the recipe I followed called it a cordial. Interesting. I think I might want to make it with honey next time, instead of all that sugar. And maybe add horehound, mint or some other herb to it. What would you add?
I mixed it with a little white wine to see how that would taste, and it's not bad, but still too sweet for my taste. I will let you know later on how well it works when we use it for coughs and colds this coming winter.
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