Elderflower lemonade, syrup and liqueur

It is that happy time of the year again when the elder blossoms and I can practice my foraging skills. It's strangely exciting to go out and pick flowers and turn it into a range of delicious products. This year I have been super efficient. From one harvest, in one process, I made 3 different elderflower products: lemonade, syrup and liqueur. It is super easy. You can do it too.

What you'll need (the quantities I used for my 6 liter pot): 1 big bag 1 pair of scissors 1 big pot or jar empty bottles with caps (4 wine bottles and a small bottle for syrup) 1 (metal) funnel lemons (3) (un refined cane) sugar (500 g) hot/tepid water patience Vodka (1/2 wine bottle)

Go out and harvest as many elder flowers as you think you can stuff into the pot. Use the scissors to cut them and the bag to transport them.

Slice the lemons into 1/2 cm slices. Put the flowers in the pot. Pay some attention to each umbel to make sure no animals or seeds from other trees end up in the pot. Make 4 layers of flowers with a layer of lemon slices and sugar in between them. Pour water in the pot until all flowers are covered. Put the pot at a warm place for at least 12 hours (some recipe's go up to 3 days but I don't have that kind of patience).

Wash the bottles, their caps and the funnel with water. Place them in an oven at 180C for one hour. Then turn off the heat and leave the bottles in the oven until you need them (try to plan this so that you don't leave your bottles in the oven for half a day.

Once the lemonade has taken on enough flavour from the elderflowers, take the bottles and the funnel from the oven. Use the funnel to fill 3 or 4 bottles with lemonade. Pour the remaining liquid into a pot and boil it down into a syrup (leave enough to fill an entire bottle.

Use the funnel to fill a wine bottle half way with vodka and fill it up with syrup. Boil down the remaining syrup until it becomes sticky enough to be poured on pancakes. Funnel the remaining syrup into the small bottle.

Obviously, the bottles need to be closed as soon as you have filled them. Don't touch the inside of the caps when you take them out of the oven and put them on the bottles.