Elderflower Liqueur

Elderberry flowers

I make a lot of different liqueurs, most of which are fruit based. This one is quite different. This liqueur is made from the flowers of elderberry bushes. It has a sweet, slightly spicy flavor. Since my elderberry is blooming, it is time to harvest some of the blossoms and get started. They will been steeped in vodka- gin also works- then strained and sweetened. Could not be easier.

It is important to use ONLY THE BLOSSOMS. Elderberry stems and branches are toxic. It takes a few extra minutes, but get those flowers off the stems. Here is the recipe, with a few notes on options for sweetness levels.

Elderflowers steeping in vodka

Elderflower Liqueur

10 elderflower blossoms, about 1 cup of flowers, stems removed

2 c. vodka or gin

1/4 -1/2 c. sugar*

Remove all the flowers from the stems. They are small and it seems tedious, but it is important to get as many stem pieces off as possible. Place in a clean jar and pour over the alcohol. Cover the jar with a tight fitting lid and place in a cool dark place for at least a week or two. Strain out the flowers, using several layers of cheesecloth to get the liquid as clear as possible. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Return to jar, cover and let sit a few days before checking sweetness levels. You might want to add a little more sugar. Place in a pretty bottle and store in a dark place. Enjoy!! Makes 2 cups.

*You can add a lot more sugar, creating more of an elderflower cordial or syrup. It’s all about personal preference and how you want to use the liqueur. Add in 1/4 cup amounts, stirring to dissolve before adding more.

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