Now I love a homemade elderflower cordial however I am a huge fan of shrubs and this flower works so well in this drink.
The word “shrub” is derived from the Arabic sharbah, which means “a drink” “sherbet” and “syrup” also come from the Arabic root.
Shrubs are so refreshing, when combined with sparkling water or cocktails, a shrub stimulates your appetite, quenches your thirst and dispenses a quick and energising pick-me-up. Making a shrub is basically a way of preserving. It’s an infused syrup, made with fresh ingredients, fortified with apple cider vinegar and then aged, which develops its complexity and flavour. When freshly brewed, shrubs possess a strong taste of vinegar. However, they are enchanting potions and vinegar is the key to their amazing taste. With time, all of a shrub’s harsh vinegar edges round out and meld with the syrup to make the perfect hybrid of sweet and sour. Shrubs can make for a sophisticated larder staple, especially for people who find syrups too sweet.
Why not try making a seasonal fruit shrub such as strawberry, raspberry or even rhubarb, it is so refreshing!
- 10-12 Elderflowers stalks removed & check for any bugs and rinse if necessary
- 1 Lemon, unwaxed paired
- 225 g Granulated Sugar
- 120 g Cider Apple Vinegar
- 350 ml boiling water
- Pour the water into a large saucepan and add the sugar and lemon rind. Place on the hob and heat slowly on a low setting until the sugar has dissolved. Rinse the flower heads and check for any bugs, remove! Now add the flower heads to the sugar syrup to steep and cool for 12-24 hours.
- After such time strain through a fine sieve and add the apple cider vinegar, pour into a large kilner jar. You can drink the shrub straight away but it is best enjoyed after a few weeks or up to 6 months after making. When you're ready to serve fill a glass with a 1/4 full of elderflower shrub and finish with cold sparkling water. Store in the fridge for up to 6 months.