Elderflower Liquor and The Elderflower Tom Collins

Elderflowers are generally in bloom when the warmer weather decides to stay. Their delicate scent drifting in the gentle spring morning breeze and lightly perfuming the air. I wonder if this is why we go so made for anything to do with this the most perfect of our native trees?

The Elderflower Tom Collins

Elderflower Tom Collins

Elderflower Tom Collins

Although the Elderflower Tom Collins is nothing new I can see it becoming very popular this summer as it marries an element of the homemade with the wild.

I drank a few Elderflower Tom Collins’ last night and whilst sipping on them during a dark January night, I felt transported back to the Spring morning I spent picking. That is the beauty of foraged cocktails, they are sunshine in a glass.

despite having a few of them I can report the hangover is too rotten either!

Ingredients

60ml Cotswold dry Gin*
20 ml Elderflower Liquor (see below)
30ml Lemon Juice
5ml Sugar syrup
Top up with Soda water.

Extras – Wedge of Lemon, Ice

Method

Put the Gin, Elderflower, Lemon Juice, Sugar Syrup and ice into a Boston shaker and shake for 30 seconds. Strain into a high ball glass over ice and top up with soda water.

* Or any dry gin

How to make Elderflower Liquor the traditional way

For me the gold standard of Elderflower vodka is Chase. To emulate it I’d suggest using fresh elderflowers picked in the morning. Do not wash your elderflower as this will wash off the pollen. Instead leave on newspaper to allow the insects to move house on their own terms.

Pull off the blooms with a fork leaving as much of the bitter green stems behind. Around 4 tablespoons of flowers into 500ml (1 pint) of Vodka  is perfect, if your elderflowers are not that strong or you are in love with elderflowers beyond belief then increase this.

Stir and place in mason jar and leave for 3 weeks.

Add a 50/50 sugar syrup to taste. Chase is rather gloopy and sweet so add around 50ml-100ml sugar syrup per 500ml of elderflower vodka.

To make the syrup simply boil 500ml (1pint) of water and add 500g sugar. Stir repeatedly until it has dissolved. Allow to cool before using.

Keep refrigerated and use in about two weeks (the sugar syrup that is, the vodka last forever).

How to make Rapidly infused elderflower liquor

In this recipe my preference is for Agave syrup as I find it fairly neutral, this extenuating the elderflowers. Some prefer honey, although if using I’d suggest favoring more delicately flavoured honey.

500ml Vodka
2 tablespoons of Dried Elderflower (twice as many if using fresh)
2 Tablespoons of Agave syrup/honey/sugar syrup
2 x Nitrous Oxide canister

Place the vodka, elderflower and Agave syrup/honey into your infuser and charge with one of the canisters. Wait for 1 minute before charging the next one and shaking your infuser/whipper for 1 minute.

Release the gas and strain the contents. Drink neat or use in the above Elderflower Tom Collins!

Andy Hamilton

Brewer, forager, broadcaster, spaceman occasional liar

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4 Responses

  1. Richard Denning says:

    I assume you are making the vodka which keeps for a long time. It is only when you add the sugar syrup that you have a short shelf life

  2. Richard Denning says:

    Thanks that makes sense. It wasn’t me on a bike, that sounds like hard work.

  1. June 22, 2015

    […] years I’ve made elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne but this year I’ve been experimenting a little with many of my older […]

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