My sweet friend India made this elderflower vodka at the height of summer when the elderberry bushes were laden with blossoms. I imagine her, one baby in the sling and the other, Odette, trailing happily after her, sun hat tied tight, on some wild adventure to pick the elderflowers on Bramley Mountain Road. A recipe, from another friend at Eating From The Ground Up, inspired this vodka. Elderflowers are the palest of cream or the color of summer butter. Their saucer-sized blooms are east to spot. They smell both sweet and a bit spicy. They are best picked before the scorching noonday sun causes their delicate aroma to fade. You will need to make the cordial immediately after picking the flowers. Take note of where you find your blooms so you can return in September to pick the deep purple black elderberries which are high in vitamin c and other antioxidants. This past weekend I made a delicious elderberry sorbet, but they are most commonly used for jelly.
Elderflower vodka adapted from Eating From The Ground Up.
Place about 20-25 elderflower heads in a mason jar (don’t pick them all if you want elderberries later in the summer!)
Cover the flowers with vodka and seal the jar tightly
Place in a cool dark place for 4-6 weeks to age. (The vodka in this photograph was left longer, about 8 weeks)
The liquid will turn anywhere from a buttery yellow color to a deeper amber, depending on how long you leave it to age.
After the appropriate time, strain the flowers off with cheesecloth and pour the liquid back into clean Mason jar
Add 1/2 cup of sugar and shake to dissolve. When the sugar is dissolved the cordial is ready to drink.
elderflower vodka aged 8 weeks