with a rose petal variation
- 1.5L Water
- 1kg Sugar
- 20 heads of Elderflower (Sambucus nigra; this should be enough to fill a small colander)
- optional: 2 handfuls of scented rose petals (don't use shop bought ones - these will be sprayed.
- 30g Citric acid
- 2 zested & juiced lemons
In a large saucepan, bring 1.5 litres of water to boil.
Add 1kg of sugar, stir in to dissolve, then bring to a gentle simmer gently and for 5-10 minutes until you have a thickened syrupy consistency.
Take the syrup off the heat. Add the elderflowers* (and rose petals if using, lemon juice/zest and/or citric acid. Cover with a muslin cloth to keep bugs out.
Leave for 1-3 days, stirring every day to infuse the flavours to desired strength. Strain out the plant material and pour into sterilised** bottles.
Alternatively, pour into ice-cube trays and store in the freezer.
Use a ratio of 1:4 or 1:5 syrup to fizzy water, or add a splash to champagne. If using ice cubes - add a cube or two to each glass.
*Use a fork to remove the elderflowers from the stems (you don't have to do this, but the stems are bitter, so this is a good tip for maximum taste). DO NOT wash the flowers, as this will wash away the tasty pollen. Put the flowers aside.
**To sterilise bottles: Use baby bottle sterilising fluid as per the instructions. OR wash bottles in hot soapy water. Rinse. Place wet glass bottles on a baking tray and bake at 150 degrees Celsius until dry. Sterilise lids separately or they may melt.