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!