Elderflowers are the taste of summer. The flowers, tiny, white and creamy, blossom in May and June, bringing hedgerows to life and attracting bees and butterflies to the sweet nectar.
Elderflower can be made into a cordial, which can be used to flavour lots of different drinks and desserts. Check out a recipe for elderflower cordial on BBC Countryfile Magazine‘s website. Elderflower gin goes well with a good-quality tonic water and lots of ice.
Make sure you’ve identified the elderflower correctly – don’t mistake it for other similar flower sprigs at this time of year.
They should hang in clusters from the branches of trees, with a flat-topped appearance. The flowers are best when they have just burst open. Look for creamy white flowers with a strong elderflower smell, rather than blooms that are going a bit brown around the edges.
- Gin 1 bottle
- Elderflower sprigs 5-8 sprigs per bottle
- Lemon rind A couple of strips for each bottle
Lucy McRobert is freelance communications and marketing professional, and helped to set up the annual national campaign 30 Days Wild at The Wildlife Trusts. She is a keen birder and cetacean-watcher, and believes that a wild life is a happier, healthier life.
This is a recipe from 365 Days Wild by Lucy McRobert, published by Harper Collins Publishers.
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Main image: © Rostislav Sedlacek/Getty