The first step to making your own elderflower syrup is to properly gather the blossoms. Depending on where you live, they could be in flower from late April until the end of July. Make sure you have the right flower. There are some plants which look similar to elderflower but which will not make a refreshing drink. Collect them from an area which is well away from roads and any other forms of pollution. Don’t pick too many heads from one bush as birds feed on the berries in September.
Use scissors to cut the blossoms from the branches. Place the blossoms in a wicker basket, cloth bag, or paper bag. One half a normal bag will be enough for preparing 5 liter of syrup. Lastly, be sure to select blossoms that are fully opened and not browning or past their prime. This will affect the quality of the elderflower syrup.
Once gathered, keep the blossoms in a cool dry place until you are ready to use them. Its best to prepare the syrup within 24 hours of picking the blossoms. Remove any dead mice, bugs, leaves etc. Get some real lemons rather than a plastic bottle of lemon juice. Try to get ones that are untreated – check out your local bio store – with regular lemons, the peel is covered in loads of chemicals. Rinse them to get rid of any dust.
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