Like an elderflower cordial, but just a little bit more fun; the sweet and musky perfume of elderflower pairs perfectly with the classic juniper taste of gin. Serve with cloudy English apple juice & a sprig of mint, or mix with lemonade & freeze for some very grown-up ice lollies.
I read that the optimum blooms to pick are those just beginning to open, like the flower shown above; certainly, as they get a little older the flowers begin to turn brown and drop, and this seems to be when that characteristic cat-pee fragrance can sneak in.
I found plenty at the right, sweet-smelling stage, and some a little earlier, so I’m officially declaring this week optimum elderflower-picking season in Northern England. Baskets at the ready! (although a Tesco bag will suffice)
If you’d rather not imbibe, I suggest trying Julia’s cordial and Emma’s elderflower syrup – I haven’t tried either but their lovely photography is enough to convince me.
Think you might give it a try? Got your own seasonal or elderflower recipe to recommend? I’d love to read your comments below!
In honesty, though, even if you never get around to drinking it, the quiet pleasure of pinching off a thousand tiny blooms, of a table scattered in dainty white stars, and the excuse to mix up the magic potions of childhood games again are all enough to make this a worthwhile waste of any Sunday afternoon. Give it to a loved one or a friend, wrapped up for a wedding, or stash it in your freezer for a splash of sunshine on a rainy day.