Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Elderflower Everywhere

You know that Summer is coming, when the Elderflowers begin to pop their snowy white heads up through the fresh green hedgerows. They add a delightfully subtle, citrusy aroma to city park and countryside walks.
My kids always get excited, planning for their cordial and can spot a suitable bunch of flower-heads at 100 yards. Although we will be harvesting together, this year, as normal, I will be leaving them to their own devices when it comes to making this.

The kids and I got on our bikes and whizzed up to the common for a reconnoitre, but the flowers were not yet open. We spotted some on the way home and planned to return to the common the next weekend, to get picking!
I will be needing to gather rather more than I normally do. I always make Elderflower Champagne, this however, only requires a few big flower-heads. This time around, I will be helping to make a new seasonal beer as well.
Following on from my successful collaboration with Jimmy Hatherley at Unity Brewing Co. The Spring ale, named Printemps, employed stinging nettles for their unique flavour, but this time around I will be collecting Elderflowers, towards a Summer Saison Beer.
This is Apple blossom.


  1. Having just moved to the UK in the last couple of months amazed at the foraging. I do have one dumb Australian question where do you get food grade plastic pails in the UK? Want to make elderflower cordial with my daughter on the weekend.

  2. Any brewing shop will have them or commercial cookery store but I get mine from ebay. I bet they have them on that online place named after a big river in S America too.

  3. Hi, can you tell me if you know whereabouts I can find Elderflower plants at Southampton Common? I did look today briefly but couldn't see any!
    Many thanks

  4. These trees are all over Southampton Common. If you throw a stick, it will probably hit one.
    I never add them to the fruit map because there are too many.
    The fun in foraging is looking for your targets and enjoying the hunt.
    Use our free dowloadable seasonal id sheets and go for a wander, if your eyes are open, you will spot lots.