Monday, 13 June 2011

Drink's from Wild Blossom

Of all the trees that grow on the boundaries of our garden the Elder is the most prolific and one that in my younger days caused me to suffer from its pollen however, that is a problem I thankfully no longer have - ageing certainly does have its benefits.

The florets of the Elder (Elderflowers)

I did some research early this year to see what herbal benefits might be obtained from the florets of the Elder and found that a essence can be made that will ease or assist in easing the effects of catarrh. So two weeks ago I picked some florets packed them in in a jar and topped it up with brandy, the jar is kept in a dark warm place and turned every day for one month, after which it will be strained put into a dark bottle. Dosage is 20 drops three times a day - low enough to still drive without going over the limit !

Essence of Elderflowers

Elderflower Cordial

The elderflower cordial I made from a recipe obtained on line, it said to use 1.8 kg of sugar having followed the instructions, I now find that it is far too sweet for my palate even when diluted
1:5 with water ; for am not a sugar lover at all, next time I will halve the amount for I can always add extra if required.

Elderflower Liqueur for cold winter evenings
made with vodka and sugar.

Heron's Honeysuckle Liqueur
(similar recipe as the elder)

Honeysuckle Cordial

By adapting the elderflower remedy and using far less sugar a bowl of honeysuckle flowers steeped in a sugar solution with slices of oranges, awaits to be pressed, strained and bottled.


  1. I can remember my mother-in-law making elderflower champagne, years ago. It was very sweet but quite refreshing. We have a lot of elder plants here - ground elder is a real problem in my garden! Your recipes look good! I have a new blog address at would love you to call by if you have time.

  2. The honeysuckle here is almost intoxicating in it's heady scent. i would love to make something that would capture the smell. When you squeeze the bottom of a honeysuckle flower onto your tongue, it's pure nectar.

  3. That is fascinating, thank you for posting these! I had no idea about Honeysuckle cordial! I made sloe gin for the last two years, and am very tempted on some of the others you have mentioned, just not very familiar with Elder flowers so have to make sure I get the right ones.

  4. I haven't heard of honeysuckle cordial/liqeuer before. I will have to give them a try. Now if only I had a honeysuckle plant in my garden - - -

  5. I look at a flowering Elder in a corner of my plot with a fresh perspective... Thank you

  6. I would try them all lol...always wanted to put some honeysuckle in the backyard and by now it would have taken nicely, but hubby wouldn't let me, says backyard is for the doggies and he has enough to take care of ..would love to taste the drinks though, they looked great!

  7. it is lovely to see your creativeness.. I love these shrubs too... the flowers, the fruit, the birds that come to them.. and also that the elderberry bushes seem to pop up all over the place all by themselves..

  8. AMAZING !!!

    Have a super weekend.

  9. Miranda says:
    Dear Heron,
    After 8 goes at different times of day I give up once more. Technology allows me as far as copying the jumbled words then vanishes into the ether.... .Never mind I just like to tell you how much I enjoyed the latest.I make a lot of hedgerow things myself, but like to save the elderberries for jam and jelly .I made two types of sloe brandy last year the one with honey instead of sugar was far superior. However mayflower brandy was awful leaving a very unpleasant aftertaste in the mouth. You could try honey in your liqueur next year. Our Dorset elderflowers are quite a different shape being much flatter .

  10. How strange! I was so sure I'd left a comment here, but it seems not. I must have written it and got the word verification wrong without noticing. I know I at the very least thought what a lovely post this is, and how I love the satisfaction of making wonderful preserves from the fruits of the land. They all sound mouthwateringly delicious! How marvellously enterprising of you, Mel (this feels very much like repeating myself :-))

  11. Every year I make E Champagne. This year's was/is superb. First-timers must beware the amount of sugar given in recipes. Half would probably suffice.

  12. The scent of Summer in a bottle - lovely!

  13. My mother picks the elderberrys every year and makes them into a cordial which stops her from having bronchitus - she makes enough to last the winter and since she has been doing this it has kept the bronchitus away - this was nice reading and thank you for becoming a follower to my beauty and the beasts X

  14. Lovely post, my Great Grandmother used to make Elderflower wine and used to give me a sip when I was young , lovely it was :-)