The elderberry plant’s blossoms, Sambucus nigra, are small pale stars. This time of year, thousands of the little blossoms form extremely scented galaxy, and if you’re lucky, you’ll come across some. Mine is used to infuse vodka.
The elderberry plant’s blossoms, Sambucus nigra, are small pale stars. This time of year, thousands of the blossoms form incredibly scented galaxies, and if you’re lucky (and in the appropriate place), you’ll come across them. Cordials are a common application for the blossoms, but I chose to carefully pick the petals from the stalk to infuse a couple of jars of vodka. As I was removing the elder flowers from my market bag, I noticed they were entangled in a bouquet of vibrant, fragrant, fresh coriander, and I thought, why not? The coriander’s green citrus overtones would be a pleasant addition to the sweet heady elderflower, so it was also added to the jars.
Some applications include spiked lemonade or orange juice, vodka and soda or tonic, or a splash in a glass of sparkling wine. In all circumstances, you can sweeten to taste using simple honey syrup or common simple syrup.
I’ve also seen lovely celebrations of the small blooms in other areas. Examine it out. If vodka isn’t your thing, a cordial is a great substitute. However, remember that you should remove as much of the plant’s green as possible when it comes to elderflower blossoms. The stems, branches, and roots are poisonous.
Elderflower and Coriander Vodka
You must carefully remove only the blossoms from the stalks and branches. All green plant parts and roots should be avoided. They are unpalatable.
- 1 liter of vodka
- a large number of fresh elderflower flowers
- a pinch of fresh coriander seeds and flowers
Place the glass jars you want to fill on the counter and fill them with as few or as many elderflower blooms as you choose. The more the merrier. Ensure that you only put the blossoms in the jars and not the stems, stalks, roots, or green parts of the plant. Fill each container with a tiny handful of fresh coriander seeds and blooms. Fill to the very top with vodka. If air remains at the top of the container, the flowers will brown faster than they would otherwise. Place in a dark spot for at least four days – the darker the better. When the vodka is fragrant and flavorful, strain it through a fine strainer (I prefer 8 days). If you leave the flowers in the vodka, the flavor will alter with time; you can drain it whenever you choose. After straining, it will remain refrigerated for a good stretch.
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