Monday, August 29, 2016

elderberry fun

A couple of years ago, maybe three now, I planted two elderberry bushes in my quest to add perennial fruit to the farm.  I had read about the elderberry, where both the flowers and the berries could be used.  The bushes flowered this year for the first time.  I have not seen or tasted elderberry and knew very little about them and what I did know was not due to experience but only research.  So I left my flowers, thinking that I would not harvest the flowers but let them bear fruit this first year and then next year when I knew what to expect I could use some of the flowers and let some turn to berries. Not all of the berries ripen at the same time.  They are a dark purple/blue and the stem turns to red when ready.  The berries are tiny and must be removed from the stems.  There is some toxicity to the stems and so I was careful to separate the berries from the stem.  It was pretty time consuming but eventually I had washed and destemmed all of the ripe berries from my first harvest.  I had been undecided about what I wanted to try with the berries but eventually my decision was made for me.  I had enough berries for cordial but not enough for jelly.

So cordial it is.  The berries are placed in a quart jar, vodka is added along with some pieces of lemon peel.  The mixture is allowed to stand in a dark place for at least one and up to six months.  When the cordial is ready the vodka is strained and some sugar added.  The vodka/sugar mix is then allowed to stand a few more days until the sugar is dissolved.
clusters of berries


jars of vodka and berries--future cordial
   I am hoping to be set up by next spring to make some elderflower wine but in the meantime I have three separate jars of cordial and I am thinking that I will try opening one after about a month and then wait longer with the others.  It might be nice to have one at Thanksgiving and one at Christmastime.  I intend to make cordials or liqueur from other farm fruits when I am able.  My young pear trees have not started to produce yet.and this year my first potential plum crop of a decent size disappeared overnight.  Darn squirrels. 

I have a collection of cordial glasses started.  Cordial glasses are tiny glasses that hold a small amount of liqueur that is meant to be sipped.  I didn't decide that I needed them it just sort of happened and now I am excited to use them.  I bought my first ones because they were just so cute.  that same reason is pretty much why I have bought any of them.  They are all thrift store finds; many are vintage, a couple more modern.

Check back for links to the cordial recipe and my cordial collection.

I am joining Susan at BNOTP for Met Monday here.


The recipe for the cordial can be found here. 

I talk about the cordial glasses here.

No comments:

Post a Comment