I am not sure what to properly call it in English, in Swedish it is simply “flädersaft” but in English it seems to be called either Elderflower syrup, Elderflower cordial or Elderflower lemonade. Anyway, if you haven’t tried it before you are seriously missing out on the most refreshing summer drink ever! And when you have made this Elderflower lemonade I can highly recommend the Rhubarb lemonade recipe if you still have some rhubarbs left.
If you don’t have elderflowers growing in your own garden you can just pick from a park or in the wild (they are growing like weeds here in Sweden). Please note that there is also a poisonous elderflower (Red Elderflower – Sambucus racemosa), so please pick the right one 🙂 Some differences between them:
- The flower of the red elderflower is actually not red, but green-yellowish (compared to white-yellow for the edible one)
- Red elderflowers does not smell as heavenly as the European elderflower (Sambucus nigra).
- The red elderflower blooms before the Sambucus nigra
- Red elderberry flowers are arranged like grapes (instead of flat)
You can read more in detail here.
The use of citric acid is preferred if you want it to last, but if you will use it directly you can actually skip it.
If you cannot make something out of the elderflowers right away, then I suggest you freeze it in bags. The recipe works just as well with frozen flowers.
You will probably see several other recipes where you start with dissolving the sugar in boiling water and then pour it over the elderflowers. That works just as well, but then you need to stir the mixture from time to time to ensure that the sugar melts properly. Most other recipes are using a larger sugar ratio but I have found that this ratio still makes it sweet and refreshing without making it to sugary.
While doing the research for this blog post I came across a few tips that were not consistent everywhere. However I have not found evidence to debunk these either:
- Pick early in the day to keep the insects and bees from taking the flavorful parts
- Avoid rinsing in water to keep more flavor
- Cut away all stems (while many other sources says it will suffice to cut away the thickest stems)