I have been desperate to make this concoction ever since the elderflowers faded in back in early summer. It was not one I could make on board Wand’ring Bark in the summer when I was playing with elderberries here, here and here because I didn’t have either the ingredients or the bottles. I cannot remember now. I may simply have been that I did not find them enough quantity as it was early in the season. Or I may have not had the recipe with me. Or I may have simply forgotten. Who knows?
Anyway, anyway, anyway. With the season galloping apace and my operation fast approaching, I was becoming a tad obsessed. So, over the August bank holiday, while my mother was staying, we took a walk across some fields in my locality. We were actually looking for a mulberry tree. Not that we found it. But we did find masses of fat, bursting elderberries. It would have been rude to leave them.
Yesterday was my appointed bottling day and while the flavour needs to mature for three months before it is ready, the wee dram I tested (purely for scientific purposes, you understand …) was most promising. Sort of like alcoholic ribena. I can work with that 🙂
As for the bottling, I found some delightful stacking bottles at Stratford’s Food Festival yesterday for a fraction of the price I had seen them online.
I would not normally buy containers, unless unavoidable, but these will look so pretty with different coloured hedgerow liquors in them and will make lovely additions to the Christmas Hampers I am making. Hmmm, I can feel a series of posts on edible gifts coming, seeing as that is the thing I most commonly google these days …
1 1/4tsp ground allspice
1 cinnamon stick
2 whole cloves
1/4tsp ground mace
Wash the elderberries and discard any leaves. Using a fork, strip them off the stalks into a bowl. Lightly mash the fruit with the end of a rolling-pin, pint glass or potato masher. Stir in the other ingredients. Pour into large sterilised jar and tightly seal. Leave in a cool, dark place for one month.
Strain through scalded muslin. Pour into sterilised bottles and seal. Store for three more months before drinking.