Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Elderflower Syrup

The recipes I found for this call it a cordial or cough syrup. So I am just going to call it syrup.

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
I picked a good many flower heads, probably 40-45 of various sizes. I shook them gently to get rid of any little bugs, then brought the bucketful inside to cut off the small florets.

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.

And done!

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.

Copyright Susanna Holstein. All rights reserved. No Republication or Redistribution Allowed without attribution to Susanna Holstein.


Nance said...

I have not heard of Elderflower. I wonder if we call it something else here in Iowa. It is very pretty! If you like sweet tea, it might work that way.

Quinn said...

Do you like fizzy drinks? That might be a really nice syrup to mix with plain tonic water. I buy a tonic syrup that can be mixed with club soda to make tonic water. But I don't really like fizzy stuff much, so I mix the tonic syrup with plain water and sometimes add a little ginger juice (not sweetened) also. When I'm feeling fancy, I even add ice!

coffeeontheporchwithme said...

I don't know anything about elderflowers, but do distinctly remember helping my mom strip the tiny little elderberries from branches she cut and brought home from the river. She made elderberry pie - a unique flavour. Hated it.
Your talk of cordial reminds me of a scene in Anne of Green Gables (don't know if you are familiar with it - traditional Canadian book - a series actually- that takes place in Prince Edward Island). Anne gets tipsy on raspberry cordial. -Jenn

At Rivercrest Cottage said...

You're a pretty handy lady if you can make your own cough syrup.

Anonymous said...

Hi - The cordial looks lovely and quite tasty! I don't think a 'cordial' always has to be alcoholic, though. Reading your post, I was reminded of the classic story "Anne of Green Gables" where Anne is given permission by her adoptive mother Miranda to invite Anne's best friend Diana over for tea. Anne's been told she is allowed to serve Diana "Raspberry Cordial" - which is a non-alcoholic sweet drink of sugar and raspberry juice (perhaps also other flavorings like lemons.) By mistake, Anne serves her and Diana current wine - which is alcoholic and chaos ensues!

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