American elderflowers (S. candensis)
By Steven Foster
Makes about 3 pints
For a delicious elixir any time of the year, add 2 tablespoons of this syrup to a champagne glass, then fill with prosecco or Sekt. For a refreshing non-alcoholic drink, pour several spoonfuls of the syrup (to taste) into a tall glass and fill with sparkling water.
• Elderflowers (enough to loosely fill a half-gallon jar), rinsed and cleaned
• 2 lemons, washed and sliced
• 4 1⁄8 cups water
• 5½ cups sugar
• 1 packet (5 grams) citric acid
1. Stuff flowers and lemon slices into a large glass container with a lid. You should have enough flowers to almost fill the jar.
2. Make syrup: In a 2-quart saucepan, bring water to a boil, then add sugar and boil several minutes. Remove pan from heat, let cool; stir in citric acid.
3. Pour syrup over flowers and lemon slices. Close jar and let it sit in a sunny spot for two or three days.
4. Remove flowers and lemon slices, but first squeeze out their flavored syrup. Bottle the syrup in clean glass jars with tight lids. Store in refrigerator.
Margie Gibson writes about food, culture, history and natural history. Previously, she worked at the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, where she wrote about wildlife.
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Elderberries: Grow, Cook, Heal with Elder