Tuesday, 21 May 2013

elderflower syrup, pt. I

i am really happy to share this with you! when may approached, my whole family was thrilled at the idea that the elder trees were about to bloom. but let's take a step back.
elder {sambucus nigra} is very common in italy, it especially grows along railway lines, in damp woods and banks of rivers.

last year during this season i told my grandmother that i had tasted an elderflower fresh beverage and really liked it.  we used to make it too, don't you remember?, she cried. i didn't. so, as far as i'm concerned, last year was the first time we made elderflower syrup in my family. it was a test, so we made just a few litres, to see if we liked and if we actually drank it all.
we become sort of addicted, and when we finished it last summer we decided we'd make a larger quantity this year. so, it's a fresh family tradition!

the elder blooms in may, and we waited for the perfect day for the harvest: it has to be warm, no rain from a couple of days, with the flowers fully open and dry.
i wandered with marco on the countryside near home, to find trees not too close to the streets or to the vineyards {for pesticides}, and harvested about 100 flowers.

we (and the camera, too!) were covered in pollen.
at home, my grandma and i carefully washed the flowers, and put them in two little carboys with water, squeezed and cutted lemons. 
there was a sweet delicate scent all over our working table! anyway, isn't my grandmother pretty?

we had to wait for 24 hours, before filtering with a towel and adding sugar and citric acid {needed for storage. without it, it won't last}.
then, it was ready to be bottled and drunk, but i'll tell you about it next time.
the recipe it's below ♥

grandma's hands ♥

{nikon em + fujicolor 200}


  1. Beautiful! :)
    Thank you for sharing and telling this story. I love it!

    1. giovanni, grazie!
      i put a lot of me into this, so i'm really glad you like it.

  2. This post is just so so precious! I have tears in my eyes because of homesickness, but in a good way! The last photographs, with your grandma's hand full of elderflowers is just beautiful! :'-)
    P.S. I had never tasted the syrup before though! I wish I had!

    1. dear polly, thank you!
      do you think it' possible to ship a small glass bottle to finland, if i packed it up well? i'd love to send you some! :)
      if you want, email me your home address at idiaridellalambretta@gmail.com

  3. great pictures and great family mood here :)

    i was needing a lift of humor and this helped*

  4. I can smell it all the way here! What an amazing tradition, and what amazing photos!

  5. Ooooh, the last picture makes me want to cry. I miss my grandma.

    It's great you are doing things with her, keep it up because you will cherish these moments the most.

    Gorgeous photos too, all of them. And a very sweet way of presenting a recipe.

    Greetings from Slovenia! :)

    1. hello nini, thank you and welcome :)
      you're right.. i'm trying to enjoy time with my grandma and learn from her as much as i can ♥

      (i'm planning to visit Ljubljana this summer! maybe i'll ask you some tips!)

    2. Sure Silvia, ask away :)

  6. Splendido! Grazie mille per la ricetta, ultimamente l'avevo cercata per usare i fiori di sambuco del giardino e aggiungo questa fra le mie preferite. Le foto della nonna sono meravigliose :)

    1. grazie Serena! fammi sapere come viene lo sciroppo ;)


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