8.15.2013

Elderflower Cordial (Holunder Syrup)

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The plant itself looks like this
      There is a plant which is not so known in our country but quite famous in central Europe, especially in Britain and Ireland. I had the chance to taste its syrup for a couple of times owing to a very nice lady who had the tree in her garden and I really fell in love with the taste of it. Yes, I am talking about the Elderflower cordial which is also called as Holunder syrup.
If I give some brief information about the tree, Elder is one of a number of indigenous trees that became common about 6000 years ago following forest clearance by the first farmers on British island. It is found in hedgerows, woods, chalk downs and waste ground and was once regarded as one of the most magically powerful of all plants.

       It is said that a witch can turn herself into an elder tree and its wood is used for the making of magic wands. It is also believed that planting this tree protects your house from lightening and evil spirits. Sitting or sleeping under, an Elder at midsummer is said to enable one to see the fearies or even see them going to their midsummer feast. (So besides its taste and odor, I sort of like this magical side as well:)

      All in all, I strongly recommend you to find and taste this lovely syrup. Even better if you plant it in your garden (which is my next destination) and make the syrup yourself (By the way not only syrup but also champagne and vinegar can be made also from its flowers). So just in case, I will give you a simple recipe (I say simple because you can find more detailed recipes with longer processes but I learned this one from that 85 year-old lady and I trust "experience"):

 
I took this photo almost a month ago when I last visited the lady (partially seen at the backround) and unfortunately these are the last remaining portions of that syrup since the Elder tree in her garden toppled down during a heavy storm.  

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