Photo by: Randazzo/Blau.

My favorite way to enjoy elderflowers is in a lightly effervescent, citrusy cordial that perfectly captures their elusive fragrance. Add a jammy syrup of Rubus occidentalis (black raspberry, or blackcaps), which ripen around the same time, and you attain nirvana.

ELDERFLOWER CORDIAL RECIPE

Makes 7 cups

Ingredients

  • 6 oz (about 30) elderflower umbels, stripped from stems
  • 1 lb granulated sugar
  • ½ cup fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups water
  • Zest of 4 lemons, in strips

Instructions

  1. Combine the elderflowers, sugar, and lemon juice in a 2-liter glass jar.
  2. Bring the water and lemon zest to a boil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat.
  3. Remove from the heat, cool slightly, and then slowly pour the entire contents over the elderflowers.
  4. Gently stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover the jar with a linen dish towel or double layer of cheesecloth and secure with a rubber band.
  5. Leave the jar at room temperature for 3 to 4 days, until natural fermentation produces carbonation and a complex, tangy flavor.
  6. Strain cordial, then transfer to swing top bottles and store in the refrigerator. Burp every few days to release carbonation.

BLACK RASPBERRY COULIS RECIPE

Makes ½ cup

Ingredients

  • 2 cups black raspberries, fresh or frozen
  • 2 Tbsp honey
  • ½ Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • Pinch sea salt

Instructions

  1. Place fruit in a small saucepan with a couple of tablespoons of water. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat and cook until the berries are very soft and broken down.
  2. Push through a fine mesh strainer, pressing hard to get all the pulp. Discard seeds.
  3. Stir in honey, lime juice, and salt.

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