The elderberry is a widespread shrub in Italy in ruderal environments, damp woods and the banks of watercourses where it grows wild from the sea to the mid-mountains. Along the Serchio and in the woods of the Lucca Plain it is frequently found in late spring in generous blooms.
The compound leaves are dark green in colour, the flowers in clusters of tiny corollas with a very intense perfume that can already be perceived from a distance.
The elderberry flowers between mid-May and the beginning of June. Just in time to pick the flowers and prepare a delicate, fresh syrup for hot summer days.
Diluted in cold water and accompanied by a few mint leaves and lemon peel, it is perfect for any occasion. It has a slightly sweet and fresh taste and diuretic and detoxifying properties.
what you need:
14 bunches of elderflowers
3 organic lemons
how to make it:
Wash the elderflowers, removing the stems.
Layer the flowers and sliced lemons in a closed container and cover with water.
After about 24-36 hours of resting in a cool place, strain.
Pour the liquid into a saucepan with honey to taste and bring to the boil, leaving on a low heat for 10-15 minutes.
It is bottled while still hot and when cold it is kept in the fridge (two weeks).
It is served by mixing in a glass 1 part syrup and 5-6 parts water, ice, lemon and mint leaves.
For a cool alcoholic aperitif, combine two parts prosecco and one part syrup.
note: make sure the plant is elderberry and not lebium, which is very similar but toxic.