Thursday, June 25, 2009

elderflower lemonade/syrup

care to join me for a glass of homemade elderflower lemonade? you will need an elder tree (sambucus nigra/black elder) in bloom for this (dancing mermaid in front is optional). if you don't have one, nick some off your neighbours tree. or go hunting.
this is incredible easy to make, it practically makes itself. if it looks complicated, it's only because i tend to blabber.

EDITED TO ADD: i just found out that lemonade is not commonly diluted with water, so just to make clear; this is syrup to be diluted!!

40 - 60 clusters of elderflower blossoms
3 organic lemons
2 liters of water
2 kg sugar
20-25 grams of citric acid (optional, depending on storage - see below)

- pick your blossoms in dry weather, and preferably when newly blooming. the tree continues to bring forth fresh blossoms for about a month, so there's plenty of opportunities for making another batch later if you like. - don't rinse the blossoms in water, but gently shake them to drop any bugs. the rest is strained out later on. - place the blossoms in a laaaarge pot/bowl.

three clusters in different stages of blooming
cut them just about so - cut the lemons in slim slices. keep the rind/skin on, that's why you'd want organic ones (if you can't find organic lemons, you can leave your non organic ones in a bowl of water and add 3-4 tablespoons of baking soda. this will rinse off most of the pesticides). - add the lemons and the sugar to the water and bring to a boil. - dissolve the citric acid in the mix and pour it all boiling hot over the blossoms. - leave to cool, then place in the fridge with a lid/cloth/big plate or so on top. leave it in the fridge for 3 days, stirring the mix once or twice a day.

- strain the mix through a loosely woven (and clean!) cloth. - put it on clean, cold bottles/jars/what have you, and store in a cool place.

you can put the syrup in the freezer to make it last longer. if you know it won't be stored for long, you can leave out the citric acid. on the opposite, you can rinse the bottles with atamon water (a preservative based on benzoic acid) before you fill them with the syrup, to make them last longer.

to drink - and this is essential: mix about 1 part syrup and 8 parts water in a glass. of course, this will depend on your preferences. if you like it sweet, use more syrup and less water. this can just as easily be made into tea, by adding hot instead of cold water.


EDITED TO ADD: well whaddayaknow, i learned something new from this post. i found out that most people outside of (northern?) europe don't drink saft (norwegian term). i thought 'lemonade/limonade' was the common name for saft, but of course it's not. when i looked up 'elder' at wikipedia, i found this: "The French and Central Europeans (Austrians, Croatians), but particularly the Swiss (the foremost experts of Sambucus cultivation and culinary applications) are known for their elderflower syrup, most commonly made from an extract of elderflower blossoms, which can be added into pancake (Palatschinken) mix instead of blueberries. Most Balkan countries (Serbia, Romania, Macedonia) will use a similar method to make a syrup which is diluted with water and used as a drink."

the 'syrup diluted with water' is what we call saft (which actually means 'juice', but is not to be mistaken for juice as in orange, grape or cranberry juice), and is probably the most common drink among kids here. it's usually made of berries and fruit, which requires a somewhat different procedure than the one described here.

oh, and of course - the photos in this post are completely unnecessary. but what fun would that be?


kristina - no penny for them said...

how fabulous that you are making this yourself! a friend's mother used to do it when i was a child and it was just delicious...

Ana Cristina Abreu said...

the photos are just perfect!!!!
it seems delicious

kyndale said...

now I just need an elder tree..I don't know how common they are in my neck of the woods! What a lovely and complete post on elderflower lemoniade! It wouldn't be complete without the cool pics!

jane said...

this looks fantastic. thanks! happy weekend!

Louise said...

Thankyou so much for this recipe- I have a few trees in my garden and would love to do more with them. At the moment we feed them to our parrot and I make a tea with them sometimes.

Now I just need to find a dancing mermaid.......


Helene said...

Min mamma lagde alltid hylleblomstpannekaker om sommeren da jeg var liten. De heter "pannekaker av sommersnø", og oppskriften er slik:
Lag pannekakerøre. Ta en hylleblomst (hele parasollen, hold den etter stilken) og dypp den i pannekakerøre. Stekes rett på stekepanna. Først en gang "oppå parasollen", så må du snu den litt rundtomkring mens du steker siden med stilken, slik at hele blir stekt.
Spises! Strø sukker på tallerkenen og dypp blomster-pannekaka i det etter hvert.
Da har man til og med praktisk håndtak å holde pannekaka i.


Louise said...

Therese, I love reading about your life on the other side of the world and I would like to share an award with you, over at my blog.



Daan said...

Those photo's are great and the little mermaid is so cute!

Tomorrow i'll bring our eldertree a visit!

Francesca said...

This is a great recipe (I'll link to it in my sidebar). Althought I've been using Sambucus Nigra homeopathy rememdies for years, I've actually just discovered the many elder trees not far from our house (!!): someone told me that the berries make a wonderful jam, and I'm patiently awaiting for them to ripen. Do you have any tips on elder berry jam?

therese said...

franscesca: i haven't made anything from berries yet, but i'm eager to try it out. i've heard that elderberry wine is really good too, but i'll leave that to the experts :)
louise: thanks, that so sweet, i'll head on over!
helene: det høres veldig interessant ut (og helt sprøtt!), MÅ testes! takk for tips! nå skal jeg google for å se om jeg finner bilder av noe sånt.

therese said...

louise; for some reason, i can't get to your blog. your profile is hidden. can you write the address here please? :)

;) said...

I'ld like to join you ! May I have a limonade, please ? ;)

therese said...

haha, yes you can :) btw my lemonade is making a huge success with my friends and my kid's friends. i already have an order for 3 litres!

Iris E. said...

this post is so all of the process photos of the recipe.
this post is like summer! I wish I could pop by for a glass with you!



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