Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Syrop de Sureau/Elderberry Syrup

Unless otherwise noted, all materials on this blog are (c) 2009 by Madeleine Vedel

Every spring since I've lived in Avignon I've made my kids' favorite summer drink, Syrop de Sureau. The flowers give a delicate but fruity note, never cloying. It can be poured over strawberries, or vanilla ice cream, but we normally just drink it simply extended with water.

I've a wonderful elderberry tree hanging over my terrace, and there is another one out by the entrance to the Mas as well. The bright bunches of white flowers are opening over the top, east and southern sides of the tree. They are not to be resisted. And in any case, flowers in bloom are an ephemeral thing. You must collect them in a timely fashion and put other activities on hold.

So, after a short run this morning (all my good bread and an organic spread called KOKOLO, a blend of hazelnuts and coconut, have added a bit of thickness to my middle this year), I pulled out the ladder and climbed up to gather bunches of flowers.

The basic recipe is very simple: 3 liters of water to 2 kilos of sugar. Simmer till the sugar is fully melted, then add your lemon slices and your flowers. Let sit and infuse for 24 hours. Bring back up to a simmer for 10-15 minutes, and pour through a strainer into your sterilized bottles. This is not a completely stable blend (for that, reduce the water to sugar ratio to 1:1), so I keep it in the fridge. You only need a half inch in the bottom of a glass to be then topped off with water, flat or bubbly.

When Jonas came down for lunch and saw my preparations on the counter he crowed with joy. He does take his soda deprivation very well!


Divina said...

Thanks, we make it here too, but I use prosecco for a aperitivo with the syrup!

Avignon said...

I am so glad to discover this recipe !
I like sureau for a long time, but I didn't know you can drink it as a sirup.
But, It's hard for me to translate the recipe !
I'm going to try...
But perhaps, you can translate it ? Not in Provençal of course, just in Français...
Do you know a bit of Provençal ?
Best regards !

Avignon said...


La recette de base est très simple.3 litres d’eau pour 2 kilos de sucre.
Faites bouillonner jusqu’à ce que le sucre soit complètement dissous, puis ajoutez les tranches de citron et vos fleurs. HOW MANY LEMON SLICES AND HOW MANY FLOWERS ?
Laisser reposer et infuser pendant 24 heures.
Refaites bouillir pendant 10 à 15 minutes et verser dans des bouteilles stérilisées à travers une passoire. Le mélange n’est pas complètement homogène (il faut réduire le rapport eau-sucre à 1 pour 1), pour se faire je réserve au réfrigérateur. HOW MANY TIME ?
Vous n’avez besoin que d’un demi-pouce - HOW MANY CENTIMETERS TO MAKE HALF AN INCH ? - dans un verre à remplir d’eau, plate ou gazeuse.