Elderflower oh Elderflower, How do I Love Thee

I have been loving making a fermented beverage with juniper berries but I am running out of those. Ripe ones will not be available again for months. Did you know that there all kinds of flowers and berries that have a white coating called “bloom” on them that causes fermentation without adding additional yeast? Elderflower is one of them.

The elderflowers in my backyard are magnificent! The blooms are close to a foot across and they are WAY over my head. Planted only two years ago, they have grown rapidly. I bend a stem gently toward me and snip one bloom to take inside. It smells like heaven.

Elderflower is Simple and Versatile

From harvesting to processing, on my way I go. After cutting up some flowers I add some honey and cover with water. Then I place it in my dining room window where it gets a bit of late afternoon sun. This has worked beautifully for my juniper drink. We shall see how elderflower does. One other difference though is that I have been using maple syrup with the juniper. The sweetener aids the fermentation process. Honey seemed like a good combination with the elderflower. I will try it with maple syrup next time just to compare. After a week or two this will be ready to strain and drink. It’s fun to combine it with sparkling water although I will definitely taste it by itself first.

elderflower fermented beverage

There are still plenty of blossoms to lay out to dry for a tea blend. Wonderful key nutrients and beneficial compounds are in elderflower tea.

drying elderflower

There’s just a little teeny bit of goodness left and I can’t stand to waste it so guess what I do all the time? Teatime! Oops, I got so excited. I forgot to put a basket in. That’s OK. I’ll just strain it through my teeth as I drink lol and if I eat a few blooms, that’s good too. As it turns out, the flowers kind of floated to the side, so I had no problem. There was just a slight delicate flavor to it. I reloaded the cup with hot water to steep much longer and will enjoy it later.

elderflower tea

I forgot to mention that I put a cutting in a vase also. Gorgeous! Fragrant! Long lasting too! That was a good simple cut that yielded so much! What is your favorite high yielding easy task?

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