Sunday, July 4, 2010

Elderflower Tea

The elderflowers are at peak bloom right now - the country roads are lined with the flowering bushes.  Our daughter Sara suggested elderflower tea would help Rog with his summer cold, so I picked a basketful. The tea (actually, an infusion, since there is not real tea in it) was delicate and delicious.  I thought it would make a refreshing and exotic iced drink to sell at the farmers market, which was predicted to be hot and sultry  this weekend.
Wouldn't you know,  I went out to  gather the elderflower just as the township road crew was mowing along the road, chopping down the elderberry  bushes!  I hopped in my car and drove a quarter mile ahead of the mower, clipping off as many of the  umbrella-shaped flower heads as I could before  the second pass obliterated them.  The mower driver stopped to talk to me. He was very curious and  friendly and assured me he would not mow them all down--there will still be berries for me this fall.  The road is also lined with noxious weeds, including the wild parsnip that causes such a painful rash, and he prefers mowing to spraying chemicals to control the weeds (I prefer it too!)

I  made an infusion of the wild elderflowers, wild  black raspberry leaf and berries, bergamot, a bit of mint and a touch of lemon and honey. I strained the beautiful magenta tea, chilled it and  poured over ice.
We think this drink is delicious -- and it is surely full of magical health-giving properties!


Dan said...

Very nice. We just found a bunch of elderberry bushes last week. I think some elderberry beer will be in order this fall.

Susan said...

I've never heard of elderberry beer! I bet it would be great. Can you share a recipe?