If given the opportunity I would probably wander the fields gathering blossoms and greens every single day of the year – only to take my discoveries home to study and create in the kitchen. These delicate elderflower blossoms were foraged for me. I found them at the organic market close to where I live. Once I got my stash of pale golden flowers home, I wrapped them in newspaper and put them in a jug of water for the afternoon to experience their delicate perfume.
It didn’t take long before I simply had to get cooking. I always try to work simply, adding more ingredients or complexer techniques only if necessary. I guess that sums up my idea about cooking — the closer I can stay to nature’s flavors the better. The effort required to make elderflower infused water is minimal and the result is more than worth the time.
The availability of elderflower blossoms is very short-lived so go out and grab some while the buds are in their fully glory in the months of May and June to make your own homemade delicacy.
- a large bowl full of elderflower clusters . about 20
- the juice of one pink grapefruit
- 2.0 liters of water
- 200-250 grams of raw organic honey or sugar if you prefer
Wash the elderflower blossoms carefully in a bowl of water to rid them of any kind of unwanted dust. Remove the blossom clusters from the stems. Measure the water into a pan large enough to accommodate the blossoms. Soak the elderflower blossoms a few hours, up to a few days. I actually infused my elderflower for three days in the refrigerator!
After soaking the blossoms as mentioned above, layer a colander with a clean linen tea towel and balance it above a large bowl. Pour the water through the cloth. Squeeze the elderflower blossoms dry in the linen cloth in order to get the most of their aroma. Drain the elderflower-infused water into a pan. Squeeze the pink grapefruit juice directly into the water and stir in the honey or sugar.
Bring the water to boiling point, until the honey has dissolved. Turn down the heat and simmer the liquid 20 minutes and then urn off the heat. Allow the water to cool to room temperature. Taste it for the right balance of floral, sweetness and citrus flavors. Add some honey and pink grapefruit if so desired. Chill the cordial and serve as part of any early summer moment.
Pour the elderflower water into a sterilized glass jar and store in the refrigerator. The elderflower-infused water is now ready to drink. I filled a few small glasses with my first experiment at floral infused water and added some ice cubes as part of an easy Sunday refreshment. The elderflower water keeps well in the refrigerator at least three weeks.
I like to add fresh lavender or rose petals to the elderflower when serving it as a refreshing drink. Drop some fresh raspberries into each glass before serving. Another favorite addition is a slice of pink grapefruit (because it is prettier and milder than lemon)
In order to make a light elderflower cordial (another name for infused water refreshment), just simmer the elderflower water about 35-40 minutes, or until the liquid is syrupy . Add extra honey or sugar if needed.
The name “cordial” not only refers to being generally polite . it also is the name given to a fruit-infused water in the UK and in Australia. I quite like the name because it is obviously shorter and more attractive sounding than “infused water”.
Great recipe and a wonderful artisanal product. Now I have to find a region close to me where elder flowers grow:)