Sweet, fragrant Elderflowers begin to bloom in the canyon and across the central coast around early May. The dense clusters of tiny, white flowers are one of the great offerings from an Elder tree, for after the flowers bloom, Elderberries are soon to ripen. Both the flowers and berries have so many beneficial medicinal + healing properties. They are full of antioxidants, vitamins, anti-inflammatory, etc. They both can strengthen the immune system and are great to turn to when the body is feeling run down. When fighting a cold, flu or dealing with seasonal allergies, ingesting elderberry syrup/drinking elderberry tea and/or an elderflower cordial will help ease these symptoms. I also like freezing my elderflower cordial and elderberry syrup in ice cube trays and adding these to summer mocktails :) Adds medicinal properties + more flavor to the drink!
+ 10-15 elderflower clusters
+ A few local lemons
+ Local honey (about 1/2 - 1 cup)
+ Water (about 3 cups)
+ Mesh strainer or muslin cloth
+ Sterile jar with lid
+ Remove the blossoms from the elderflower heads, discarding as much stem as possible, and place them into a large bowl. Let the blossoms sit in the bowl for an hour or so, small insects will start to crawl off the blossoms. This is a good way to clean the blossoms before processing. Once you get all bugs off flowers, add the lemons and honey.
+ Heat the water in a saucepan or kettle until just simmering, but not boiling. Pour the hot water over the elderflower mixture and use a wooden spoon to stir until the honey dissolves fully.
+ Place a finely woven cloth or tea towel over the bowl and set in a cool, dark place. Let it steep for 2-3 days, checking after the second day. If you’d like it to be stronger, leave until day three.
+ Once the cordial is finished steeping, strain it through a fine-meshed sieve and pour into sterilized jars or bottles. Keep in the refrigerator for up to a month, or freeze for longer storage (ice cubes)! :)