Thursday, September 2, 2010

Elderflower Syrup for a great martini

Oh guys, you are going to love making this syrup. Elderflowers are usually blooming around amy in the northen hemisphere, but not here in the sunny tropics, no seƱor. We can see them blooming pretty much any time of the year. You can use Elderflower Syrups with seltzer water over ice with a lemon twist and a wheel of lime, as a refreshing non-alcoholic beverage, or add it to a bubbly champagne flute to spice up and add a fantastic aromatic scent to your drink. Elderflower Cordial can be sipped alone , plain cold, just out of the freezer in frozen cordial or sherry glasses, or mixed into a wide variety of cocktails.

I will start this blog by giving you an Elderflower Martini recipe. Since people say that we see God in the details, this simple recipe can be quite difficult to make perfect. Just again, pay attention to the details because flavor wise it is delicious.

Elderflower Martini

  • 2 oz grape based vodka
  • 1 oz elderflower liqueur
  • squeeze one lime wedge
Pour ingredients over ice in shaker. Chill a martini glass, shake the contents, strain and serve up. Garnish with lime wedge or lychee fruit. Now the difficulty comes here. Vodka are most likely made of grains like wheat or rye, or from starch like potatoes. But a couple well-known brands are actually made out of grapes. These vodkas have a fruity hints that are just a great addition to the end result. and difficulty number 2, is the elderflower liquor. If you happen to know a french version of this liquor, with a fantastic bottle, you know what I am talking about, Made in the French Alps, This particular liquor is just the right hint needed for this recipe. If you decide to use your Homemade Eldeflower Cordial and in this way control the flavors and the sweetness, guess what? I am posting here the recipe too!.

Elderflower Syrup
Great home made recipe
  • 20-25 elderflower bunches  
  • 30 grams ascorbic acid or  tartaric acid or 2 tablets of citric acid  
  • 2 lbs sugar  
  • Juice of 1-2 organic lemons  
  • Zest of 2 organic lemons
  • 3/4 liters water (boiling)
    Pick the elderflower bunches in the early morning when they are more aromatic, check for bugs. Elderflower plants are pretty resistant and are not usually sprayed with insecticides, but if they are, wash the bunches pretty well. Boil water and add the sugar until the later dissolves, then add the lemon juice,and the lemon zest with the ascorbic acid or the citric acid tablets to the boiling sugar water. Be careful while zesting the lemons not to add any damaged skin or any part of the white pit. Pour the mix over the flowers and cover for 2 to 3 days.

    Stir daily. Don´t keep it more than 3 days. Even although the citric or ascorbic acid will help to avoid fermentation to happen any time sooner than that, there are no guarantees after the third day. Strain out the liquid portion into sterilized sealed containers or bottles and keep cold. With the citric or tartaric acid it will keep for 3-4 months in the fridge. You could replace the Acid for Camden Tablets and your syrup will last for as long as you want if you keep in a dark cool place.

    Elderflower Cordial
    Homemade Recipe
    • 35 fresh elder flower heads – always pick the sweet smelling ones (which tend to be a bit buttery in colour and which do not drop petals when shaken)
    • 2 oranges, rough sliced
    • 2 lemons, also rough sliced
    • 2oz tartaric or citric acid – we prefer citric which makes for a more lemony taste, but some of our friends like tartaric. You can buy either from a shop that sells winemaking stuff and you can get citric acid from your local chemist.
    • 3 pints boiling water
    • 3lb granulated sugar, (if you are worried about your sugar intake, you can use the equivalent of granulated Splenda (it is very light so follow the instructions which substitute volume for weight….)
    • 1 Camden tablet per gallon of cordial (these come from “winemaking stuff” shops and are brilliant – they kill the natural yeasts that arrive with the elder flowers and allow you to store the cordial for years without it going fizzy). If you do not use them, then you can deep freeze the cordial you want to keep for Christmas….
    • One or two large containers (the size depends on how much you make at once)
    • Glass or food grade plastic bottles with airtight caps
    • a Siphon tube
    • J-cloths or wine filtering fabric
    • A large sieve

    • Boil the water and dissolve the sugar in it. Allow it to cool properly. 
    • Add the orange and lemon slices to the cool sugar water 
    • Stir in and make sure the tartaric or citric acid is dissolved 
    • Add the elder flower heads. 
    • Cover it up with a lid or cloth (we like to use a 5 gallon (25 litre) home winemaking plastic barrels) and leave it for 48-72 hours.
    • Strain the mixture and leave for another 48 hours.
    • We then siphon it all to another container, leaving the sediment/dregs behind and then we add 1 crushed Camden tablet per gallon of cordial
    • Shake well, and then leave for 3-4 hours to settle
    • Bottle, leaving behind any more dregs.
    • If you don’t want to use two large containers, then you will need to add a crushed Camden tablet at the rate of 1 per gallon (1/2 a tablet to a 4 pint milk container for example) and carefully siphon directly into that. Shake the bottle well after you have filled it and do the top up tightly. Shake it again an hour or two later to make sure the tablet has dissolved. It will then keep for ages – as in years.
    • Always, always use sterilised bottles:
    • Microwave – 2-3 minutes should kill anything.
    • Oven -  put glass bottles into your cold oven. Run it up to about 140C, keep it there for 10-15 minutes and then leave it to cool.
    • You can also use Milton or even just very hot water.
    How long you can store your cordial:
    • With no acids or tablets – 3-4 weeks in the fridge. Freeze in plastic bottles for longer storage.
    • With the citric or tartaric acid it will keep for 3-4 months in the fridge.
    • With the Camden tablets, elderflower cordial keeps almost indefinitely in a cool, dark place.