Orange & Elderflower Liqueur

Posted on June 29, 2013

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Elderflower Vodka and Gin

Just to mix things up a bit this year I made ‘liqueur’ as well as the usual elderflower cordial.

In truth this is Orange and Elderflower Vodka and Lemon and Elderflower Gin, not really a liqueur. Think of it as a flavoured spirit to make into a long refreshing drink, rather than to gulp down in one. I refrained from showing this served in a jam jar. That idea jumped the shark when Mason jar glasses showed up on Big Brother this summer.

The process takes more blooms than you would think as you snip or pull the flowers from the stalks, as best you can. It’s surprising how many fit into a Kilner jar when you use them like this. The pollen that came off them as I snipped away was so heady that it gave me my first ever hay-fever symptoms and filled the house with an invisible pollen-y forcefield. I took advantage of the chance to cut some flowers out of the garden whilst everyone was dosed up on anti-histamine. In for a penny, in for a pound.

I leave it up to you how careful you are with sterilising everything you use when bottling. I think neat vodka probably kills most bugs. I am alternately slap dash and fastidious with this sort of thing, but I am still alive thus far, so I’m told.

Orange & Elderflower Vodka

Snip the flowers from a bag of elderflower heads getting rid of as many of the stalks as you can.
Pack them into a jar that you have sterilised with boiling water or 15 minutes in a moderate oven.
Add a few curls of orange zest on top to stop the flowers being on top.
Fill to the very top with strong vodka.
Screw the lid on tightly and put it somewhere dark.
Give it a shake once or twice a day.
If possible make sure no blooms are sticking out of the liquid or they will brown.
After 4-5 days sieve out the flowers and orange.
Filter out tiny creatures or petals by pouring it through a coffee filter or 2 layers of muslin.
Put it back into the jar and add at least ½ a cup of sugar per litre.
Shake and leave to dissolve for a few hours, shaking when you are passing.
Bottle.

The astute among you will note that the recipe below is the same but with Orange replaced with Lemon and Vodka replaced with Gin.

Lemon & Elderflower Gin

Snip the flowers from a bag of elderflower heads getting rid of as many of the stalks as you can.
Pack them into a jar that you have sterilised with boiling water or 15 minutes in a moderate oven.
Add a few curls of lemon zest on top to stop the flowers being on top.
Fill to the very top with good gin.
Screw the lid on tightly and put it somewhere dark.
Give it a shake once or twice a day.
If possible make sure no blooms are sticking out of the liquid or they will brown.
After 4-5 days sieve out the flowers and lemon.
Filter out tiny creatures or petals by pouring it through a coffee filter or 2 layers of muslin.
Put it back into the jar and add at least ½ a cup of sugar per litre.
Shake and leave to dissolve for a few hours, shaking when you are passing.
Bottle.

Drink with soda or lemonade.

If you prefer something a little less alcoholic here is the elderflower cordial recipe.