When we think of summer Elderflowers naturally come to mind. If you are walking through the pack, taking a hike in the woods or strolling by the canals in summer you will smell the sweet, cream Elderflowers.
Elderflowers are pretty easy to forage. The large white heads that hang out in groups will catch your eye. However be sure not to mistake Cowslips for Elderflowers, they look alike and grow along the same paths. Cowslips are whiter in colour and have longer stems. To be sure just lean in for a sniff of the flower and the scent will guide you.
Now, how do you forage for pine needles? This is an easy one. Look out for gigantic Christmas trees and you will be in luck. You only need a handful of this green giant so don’t be greedy.
These two ingredients make the perfect summer party combination; fun, easy to make and delicious.
Here is our Elderflower Summer cocktail recipe with a splash of pine juice:
- 1 Large pot of Elderflowers (approximately 10 healthy heads)
- 2 cups of pine needles
- Vodka (your brand, your choice)
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- 1 lime
- A spring of pine to garnish
HOW TO MAKE
First you need to prepare your Elderflower cordial. To do this you need to shake the heads of the Elderflowers to remove any insects, cut off any stems and place them in a large pot of water.
Allow this mixture to simmer for at 30 minutes, making sure the heads are covered with water at all times.
While this pot is bubbling away gently wash your pine needles, and cut them or pull them away from their branches. Place the needles in a bowl and add two shots of vodka. Use a blender to whizz up these two ingredients and extract all of the pine juices. Sqeeze the juice from half of a lime over the mixture.
Let’s get back to the Elderflowers. Use a tea towel or cloth to strain the pot or flowers (you should be left with a yellow clear liquid now.
Add this flavoured water to a fresh pot, add 1 cup of granulated sugar and let it dissolve over a low heat.
Remove from the heat and let it cool in the fridge.
Ready to put these pungent ingredients together? Pour the pine needle juice first, followed by half a cup of Elderflower cordial, add an extra shot of vodka for a good kick and a spring of needle to garnish.
You are ready to serve up your Elderflower summer cocktail.
If you have any foraging tips we are always on the look out for tips, ingredients, nature lovers!