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Friday, 19 June 2015

Elderflower Cocktails with Rose & Grey

It's a bit of a joke, me doing anything related to food or drink, if you know me then you already realise that my favourite place is not the kitchen.  Probably the only person worse than me in the food making department is my Other Half, or OH as I call him. He actually believes ketchup to be a culinary necessity, on everything, yes everything.  Me, Im a Waitrose, M&S ready meal kinda girl, heck, they've gone to all that trouble preparing a meal for me it would be rude not to.

But every few years I venture into the "I really should have a go at that" frame of mind.  So far chutney, jam and cider have all been tackled. The chutney was ok but the fumes from the boiling vinegar rendered me and all the cats blinking for hours. 

There is an elderberry bush growing next to my house in the alleyway. Every year I see it flower and think I should do something with them, so when Emma at "A Quiet Style" put up her recipe I was galvanized into action.

The recipe requires: About 25 flower heads, two unwaxed lemons, 450g sugar, 500ml water




Step One: Cut the heads off the bush, trying not to get stung by nettles, bitten by insects or run-over by traffic. If you did it without incident - well done. 

Step Two: Read the recipe again. Chanel your inner Emma. 






Step Three: remove the flowers from the stalks, Emma recommended to kinda rub them between your fingers, this seemed to work. Success.

Step Four : Get the scales down from the top shelf and dust off the cobwebs.  Then weigh some sugar. I doubled the amount of all the ingredients. 

Step Five: Find a big metal pan to boil up the sugar and water, being careful to pick off the encrusted chutney that was stuck to the bottom from the last time you used it about four years ago.


Bizarely, whilst I don't cook, I do have lots of gadgets knocking about, all bought with good intentions, like this lemon zester, my OH doesn't even know what it is, sometimes I wave shaped objects at him and get him to guess what they are used for.

Step Six: once finished taunting the OH let the boiled water and sugar cool down, the sugar should be all dissolved. Once cool, add sliced lemons and the elder flowers, some recipes also say add a bit of zest.  I did this because I wanted to use the zester tool thing.

Step Seven : try to find a place in the fridge to put the infusing mixture, leave it for a few days. 

Step Eight : go and have a cocktail.






I think the last time I wrote about making a comsumable, it was trying to use all our apples to make Cider.  I don't know what I did wrong but it was horrible.  Oh, yes I also made Sloe Gin and Vodka, that is all still sitting in the utility area waiting for some unsuspecting person to try it. The photographer from Homes & Antiques spotted it and I sent her home with a mini bottle, I haven't heard from her since. 



These lovely stylish glasses with all the trimmings are from Rose & Grey, the set is a kit, two glasses with straws, umbrellas, place mats and a pink flamingo swizzle stick.

So it was actually a sweet little joke that I put cloudy lemonade in these glasses, but made them look like cocktails with a bit of salt round the rim (purely for decoration).  I have read that you can use the Elderflower syrup in cocktails, add it to vodka or sparking wines. 


When the mixture has had a good old soak your last step is to strain off the flowers and lemons, through muslin or a clean tea towel and then what comes out the other side should be a lovely elderflower syrup.  





If you want to make your everyday drinks seem more exciting then have a look over at Rose and Grey, they have sets with different shaped glasses, for Champagne and Daiquiri too. All come in a cute retro style box which would be a great present for someone, or a couple starting home.  

Rose and Grey do a lot of very beautiful homewares but Im particularly taken with their vintage leather collection and their metal chairs. 

For the Swedish readers, wishing you a Glad Midsommer, hope you all have a lovely time this weekend, drink a cocktail for me. 






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