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my grandma's hands were full of little flowers

Passport & Plate - elderflowers syrup

Italy | Wednesday, 12 March 2014 | 5 photos

Ingredients: 20 elderflowers {sambucus nigra}, 2 l water, 4 unwaxed lemons, 2 kg sugar, 50 g citric acid.

How to prepare this recipe collect the flowers. the elder {sambucus nigra} especially grows along railway lines, in damp woods and banks of rivers. it blooms in May. wait for the perfect day for the harvest: it has to be warm, no rain from a couple of days, with the flowers fully open and dry.
choose your flowers wisely, find trees not too close to the streets or to the vineyards.
carefully wash the flowers, put them in a little carboy with water, squeezed and cutted lemons.
wait 24 hours, then filter with a towel. add sugar and citric acid (needed for storage. without it, it won't last). stir until the sugar is melted, then bottle it, while filtering again.
that's all, you can sweet your early summer afternoon diluting the syrup with cool water, or enjoy the italian aperitivo ritual by making a "hugo" cocktail. how? 5/6 of Prosecco, 1/6 of syrup, add three mint leaves, ice cubes and splash of sparkling water.
just perfect for a sunset drink after work, before lunch on sunday, or at the end of a long scooter ride!


The story behind this recipe
two years ago, i told my grandmother that i had tasted an elderflower fresh beverage and really liked it. "we used to make it too, don't you remember?", she cried. i didn't. so, as far as i'm concerned, that was the first time we made elderflower syrup in my family. it was a test, so we made just a few litres, to see if we liked and if we actually drank it all.
we became sort of addicted, and now it can be said that harvesting and making elderflower syrup is a fresh family tradition.
i love it because it must be done in May. oh, how much i love that time of the year: summer is there, golden light in the dusk, smell of hay, cold drinks in the porch, flower's brightest colors, reading books outdoors, long walks with the wagging dog.
i love it because it's quickly done. in a couple of days you have your madewithlove cool beverage, to share in any special moment.
i love it because i collect, wash, arrange the flowers with my grandma. my time with her is precious and more educational than any class.

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