Summer is here and the elderflowers are in full bloom preparing to produce elderberries that will help fight off the flu and colds this winter. if you are lucky enough to find a stash of these flowers you will be happy to know there are so many amazing ways you can use the elderflowers as well as the elderberries. This simple elderflower lemonade recipe is the perfect drink to relax with on a hot summer day.
Where to find Elderflowers
When it comes to valuable plants to grow elderflower is one of the best plants for your medicinal garden. Growing your own elderberries allows you to have a steady supply of berries and flowers. If you are not lucky enough to grow your own elderflowers or have a place nearby where you can forage for them you can often get ahold of fresh elderflowers by requesting them at your local florist or you can buy dried elderflowers.
Foraging for elderflowers
When foraging for elderflowers keep in mind that only the flowers and the berries of the elder plant are safe to eat. the leaves, stems, and roots of the elder plant are highly toxic. look for blue and black varieties of elderberry as red varieties are poisonous. When searching for elderberries be mindful if its look alike the pokeberry that grows on a less woody plant base with a different shape to flower and berry bunches.
Elderberry is deciduous, and can be a small tree with a single trunk but is more often a multitrunked shrub. Elder is often found in bunches in shady areas. Stems are hollow filled with a pith.
The most common varieties have leaves comprised of 5- 9 leaflets that are gently serrated. Some varieties of ornamental elders have black and lacy leaves.
Elders produce a flower with a head that is a large cluster of smaller clusters of tiny, star-shaped flowers. These large clusters can vary in size.
When harvesting elderflowers wait until the dew has dried and be sure to shake out any insects to avoid bringing them home.
Simple elderflower lemonade recipe
- 1 cup fresh or dried elderflower
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 cup filtered water
- 1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 6 cups filtered water
- 1 extra lemon
- Extra elderflowers for garnish
How to make elderflower lemonade
Squeeze just from lemons until you reach 1 full cup of lemon juice with a citrus juicer or grab a bottle of lemon juice (I won’t tell).
In a large saucepan bring sugar, elderflowers, and water to a simmer. Remove from heat and allow to seep for 1 hour.
Drain the liquid through a strainer to remove the elderflowers. Discard the flowers.
Mix in lemon juice and chill until cold. Add fresh elderflowers and sliced lemons to garnish.
This is a great kid-friendly elderflower beverage that will help boost immune systems. This is the perfect option for serving at a summer garden party to enjoy with friends and family along with traditional lemonade and sweet tea.