Elderflowers are in bloom in the student garden and their sweet smell is wafting through the air! Elderberry, or Sambucus canadensis, is native to the eastern United States. Their flowers are edible and can be made into a delicious and easy elderflower syrup.
To make your own elderflower syrup, harvest about 20 bunches of flowers for one quart of syrup. Make sure not to take all the flowers on one shrub–they’ll produce berries and they’re a friend to the bees!
For the base syrup, a 1:1 simple syrup mixture of sugar to water works perfectly. While your simple syrup is cooling, remove the flowers from the stems. This can be done by hand or with scissors. I know this may seem tedious (and it is!), but it’s necessary because the green stems can make your syrup bitter!
Add your simple syrup and elderflowers to a mason jar, or other container that can be sealed tightly, and shake it up! Let it sit on your counter for 2 to 3 days, depending on how strong you’d like it, and shake it every day. When it’s ready, strain out the flowers and store in the fridge for up to a month.
You can use your elderflower syrup in sodas and cocktails… try it with Wigle’s Ginever!