Elderflower syrup- the perfect drink for hot days

elderflower syrup from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen

elderflower syrup from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchenI have been waiting for a long time for this moment to arrive: our elderflower bushes started to bloom. I was extremely excited, that already a year ago I started to collect bottles in Spain because the organic milk bottles that I bought at the Málaga market hall were absolutely suitable for this purpose. So you can imagine how obsessed and fanatic I am when it comes to elderflower syrup that I was willing to transport empty bottles on a 3000 km long journey just to be able to fill them up almost one year later.
I have some very nice memories connected to this wonderful, flowery, sweet but fresh drink.
When I was a child we used to go for a walk in the forest with my mother to collect elderflowers and arrived at home with bags full of them. After 2 days resting time in water with sugar and lemon we could sip the first elderflower drink of the season. Christine, my French friend/sister loved it also when I brought some for her to France especially because she thinks that it stops her coughing fit that sometimes comes in the evenings.

elderflower syrup from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen
With my friend, Meli our friendship became even stronger thanks to the elderflower syrup. Better said, the fermented version of it. When I had my little restaurant, Bistro 181 I used to prepare elderflower syrup. Once it was too hot in the kitchen, the syrup fermented and became elderflower champagne. We decided to use the “Keep calm and have a champagne” slogen for that night, opened a bottle and stayed drinking and chatting after closing time.

elderflower syrup from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen
The recipe of my grandmother is for drinking freshly, you can keep it for a couple of weeks in the fridge but not over winter. Later my mother found another recipe that can be kept until the next season but unfortunately it contains preservatives which I try to avoid as much as I can. I try to look for old recipes in my old 80-100 years old recipe books but I didn’t find anything. Either people at that time didn’t make them, or they thought it is so simple that it doesn’t need to be written down. Finally after searching a little bit I find a solution which doesn’t require preservatives but the recipe is not tested and in this blog you can only find recipes that I have checked, tried and can guarantee that it works.
So I will share 3 elderflower syrup recipes with you this time and invite you for a bit of team work. If you have any idea, suggestions, experiences please share it in the comments so we can discuss results later on. I am going to prepare 3 varieties: one for drinking freshly, one that can be kept for months but contains preservatives, and one which is without preservatives but recipe not tested yet. I will mark each bottle carefully so I will later tell you my experiences.
And anyway if it ferments we can still have another “Keep calm, have a champagne” evening with our friends.
I am looking forward to your comments!

Elderflower syrup (can be stored for a couple of weeks in the fridge)
Ingredients:
5000 ml water
7-8 elderflowers
600 g sugar
2 db lemon sliced
20 g lemon acid

Dissolve sugar and lemon acid in the water, add the lemon slices and the washed elderflowers and let it rest for 2 days in a cool place. Sieve it and keep it refrigerated. You can drink it without adding extra water! Enjoy!

Elderflower syrup for storing
Ingredients:

40-60 elderflowers
8000 g sugar
4500 ml water
150 g lemon acid
2 heaped tsp. sodium benzoate
10 lemons

Dissolve sugar, lemon acid, sodium benzoate in the water. Squeeze the lemon juice and add to the water accompanied by the sliced lemons and elderflowers. Let it rest for 3 days in a cool place, sieve it and fill it into carefully washed bottles. When you want to have an elderflower drink you will need to mix 15-20 ml syrup and 200 ml water according to your taste. You can add some extra drops of fresh lemon juice.

Elderflower syrup for storing without preservatives (recipe under testing process)
Ingredients:

40-60 elderflowers
8000 g sugar
4500 ml water
150 g lemon acid
10 lemons

Mix the water with the lemon juice, slices lemons and the elderflowers. Let it rest for 2 days. Sieve it and bring it to boil with the sugar and lemon acid. Fill it into carefully washed bottles and close it properly.

elderflower syrup from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen elderflower syrup from the Taste of Memories countryside kitchen

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer

Judit Neubauer is a food photographer, chef and writer living in a small village in Northwestern Hungary. Her bilingual blog, Taste of Memories is about life in the Hungarian countryside. While she is bringing new life into the 90 year-old house and orchard of 18 fruit trees she cooks and bakes her family’s old recipes and tries to preserve traditions and old knowledge about how to live in rhythm and harmony with nature.

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