Sunday evening I received a message from a friend letting me know she had a bag of elderberry flowers for me. Yippee!
Tuesday morning I stripped the flowers from the stems while heating the simple syrup.
The flowers are steeped with lemon juice and zest in simple syrup overnight. The smell is wonderful. A taste of the liquid after a couple of hours of steeping was on the bland side, but after a full day of mingling, the flavors really pop. I was worried the strong lemon would overpower the delicate elderflowers, but the two mingle perfectly. Not exactly like St. Germain, but darn close.
25 elderflower heads
4 cups water
4 cups sugar
1 teaspoon citric acid, if canning
In a medium pot, heat water and sugar until sugar is dissolved. Let cool slightly.
Remove the flowers from the stems by gently shaking or pulling and place in a large non-reactive bowl.
Zest and juice three lemons and add to flowers.
Cool the liquid enough so that it is no longer steaming and pour over flowers and lemons. Cover the bowl with a cloth and let sit overnight. The mixture can happily hang out in the kitchen up to two days. Anything longer and there is a risk of mold forming.
The next day, strain the liquid through a fine sieve. There may still be some small debris in the syrup, you can strain it again, or fish the bits out with a spoon.
Pour the syrup into a medium pot and bring to a boil. The syrup can be stored in the fridge for two weeks, in the freezer for six months, or water bath canned.
To can using a water bath, add 1 teaspoon citric acid to the syrup before boiling. Pour hot syrup into jars, leaving 1/2 headspace, and process for 20 minutes.
Use everywhere St. Germain is suggested.