Italian Food and Flavours
Elderflower Gin: fiori di sambuco gin
Spring in central Italy provides the perfect climate and soil conditions for the elderflower. From May onwards the trees provides a spectacular white show throughout the countryside. The Italians in Le Marche are masters of utilising everything that nature provides, particularly if it is free. Elderflowers of course are used to create the famous elderflower cordial that is used in many drinks and cocktails, but they also can be used to make a terrific gin.
More elderflowers than you know what to do with? This elderflower gin is easy and makes a very good drink from cheap gin!
20 elderflower heads
1 500ml bottle of gin
4 tbsp caster sugar
After picking the elderflowers shake the flower heads to remove any bugs. With a pair of sharp scissors cut the tiny flowers from the stalks and put aside.
Drink a little of the gin to give enough room for the sugar and flowers and using a funnel pour in the elderflowers and the sugar, shake the bottle a little and leave it to sit for a week, shaking the bottle again every couple of days.
After a week or so when you can see that the sugar has dissolved strain the mixture through muslin or a coffee strainer and return to the bottle. The gin is now ready to drink but will improve with age, if you can keep it that long.
The gin is excellent on its own with ice and a slice of lemon but can also be used in martinis and is a great base for summer cocktails.