Here in Los Angeles elderberry trees grow like weeds along highways, in empty lots and our case, in backyards. The trees are in full bloom right now and soon will yield a plethora of beautiful purple berries which can be made into a liqueur of its own. The flowers however, are what we are interested in right now and infused in a 100-proof neutral spirit (vodka) it will produce a sweet and spicy liqueur.
- Collect elderflowers early in the morning when their fragrance is at its peak and make the recipe immediately following your harvest.
- Shake off any tiny insects usually hiding underneath the flower heads and snip off the leaves and as much of the stems as possible since they are both toxic.
- Fill a quart Mason jar with the flowers then cover with 100-proof vodka making sure the flowers are completely submerged. We suggest using a inexpensive vodka such as Smirnoff 100.
- Cover and store in a cool, dark place for two weeks.
- Strain through a paper coffee filter, discarding solids. Set liqueur aside.
- Add ¼ cup granulated sugar to ¼ cup hot water. Stir until dissolved, cool, then add to strained liqueur and transfer to a nice bottle. It will last forever and only get better with age.