Tea Trail Tales #6 April 24th 2014
Elderflower Blonde Cordial Recipe
Red Elder Sambucus racemosa callicarpa
The waysides are unfurling, blossoming beautifully with Red Flowering Currants, Salmonberry fuschia flowers, Hooker's Fairybells and the old Elder Crone is awakening from her slumber in fragrant creamy bundles of blossoms. In this region around the Sea to Sky the most common is the Pacific Coast Red Elder ( Sambucus racemosa callicarpa) which has red unedible berries but edible flowers. Best to remove the stems and avoid the leaves and bark as a toxin hydrocyanic acid is stronest in leaves and bark as well as seeds which is why the Red Eldeberries are not generally considered edible. Before cooking remove the flowers from the stalks also for best flavour.
Western Blue Elderberry ( Sambucus cerulea ) with cream blossoms and edible blue-black berries. Blue Elderberry is used to make Ebulon an old Elderberry Ale or wines full of nourishing attributes, tisanes for flus and fevers and delicious cordials for sodas & cocktails. We made some syrup of Elderflower for some yummy spring sodas.
Destemmed Elderflower and zest
Before harvesting any wild plant assure you identify it positively and always bring an offering in return and ask the Crone if you may harvest some not all of her blossoms. Always forage lightly and find a nice patch with multiple ripe blossoms. It is only wise and fair for the birds and well if it is a Blue Elderberry it would be foolish to take all the blossoms and then forego the joy of berries later. So spread the love of harvest to multiple shrubs and believe me there are lots so that should not be a problem. Pick perfectly ripe blossoms without closed buds and not past their prime point where they get a little stronger off smell. Smell, ask and cut some blossoms then leave a little something in return for the Crone and her friends.
makes a 1 L batch which you are welcome to increase as desired or if you pick more blossoms.
Elderflower Blonde Cordial
2 cups of organic Blonde cane sugar
2 cups of water
2 cups Elderflower blossoms destemmed
1.5 Meyer Lemons zest and juice ( if you want it more citrus like an Elderflower Lemonade use two Meyer Lemons zest and juice)
On medium heat melt the sugar until golden syrup then add Meyer Lemon zest then press juice of lemons into syrup. Add the 4 cups of fresh Elderflowers and infuse on low for 15 mins. Strain syrup and pour into cleaned glass apothecary corked bottles. Refrigerate and use according to taste 0.75 oz. to 1 oz. of syrup per serving of 325ml. Garnish with a couple blossoms and zest of remaining lemon twist.
make yourself a nice drink make deserts and enjoy the old Crones bounty
note: Wildcraft a little extra to dry as it makes an excellent cold and flu tisane with complimentary herbals to soothe, expectorate and boost immunity. Forage your medicines for the year ahead!
Cordially in health,