My Elderberry tree is in bloom – and I mean FULL-ON bloom. Usually, I miss the blossoms but this year I have been keeping my eyes on the tree. My tree is a Black Lace Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) with dark purple leaves and blossoms. It also has varying shades of pink to red that stand out against the fresh greenness of Spring.
*This Elderflower Liqueur Recipe, was originally inspired by Well Hung Food, ..thanks boyz!
RECIPE (note – this concoction needs to sit for 6 weeks before imbibing).
Pick full open, new flower heads (no brown bits). *It is best to pick most flowers before high noon.
After you pick the flowers you need to start moving quickly, they start to lose their perfume incredibly fast.
Fill up a bottle or jar just past 3/4 with the flowers.
Remove as much stalk as possible. If you compress the flowers they should take up about half the jar. (It took me 2 hours to deflower all my blossoms)
Once the jar is filled up to half way you need to add some sugar. The sugar not only sweetens, but brings out much of the flavor. An 80:20 ratio of Elderflower to sugar. So if your Elderflower is 4 inches high (when slightly compressed) add about an inch of sugar.
Fill almost to the brim with vodka. Now add thin slices of lemon to the top. You should try and cover the entire top layer with these thin slices as it will stop the flowers from rising to the top. If you can’t do this use a saucer and a weight to stop the elderflower from reaching the surface, as they will turn brown and taint the whole drink.
Leave a month before straining into a bottle and then another two weeks before drinking.
And remember the two most important things are: good clean, bright elderflower heads (without stalks) and not letting the flowers reach the surface. Enjoy! -Esther