Recipe: Blackfriars' Elderflower Gin

Wed 3rd Jul

Our Restaurant Supervisor, Daren, foraged his own elderflower for us, to create gin! 

Elderflowers are in season from around mid-May until late June in the UK and adorn many hedgerows and country lanes.
Wait for a sunny, dry day and find elder trees, where the flowers are in bloom with no green buds or brown-tinged buds, and flowers are visible. The flowers should smell musky and sweet and be a pale magnolia in colour.

Ingredients
• Around 20 elderflower heads
• Zest of 1/2 orange
• Zest of 1 lemon
• 750mls of good quality gin

Method
• Check the elderflowers for bugs and remove.
• Pick the flowers from the stalks. The green stalks will give a trace of bitterness to the gin.
• Place the flowers and citrus zest in the jar and cover with gin.
• Leave in a cool dark place for around 4 weeks. Upend regularly as the flowers will brown if not immersed in the gin.
• Strain the gin and then pass through a muslin cloth, a coffee filter or jelly bag.
 Leave for a couple of days and re-strain if necessary.
• Bottle the gin.
 
This gin is great with a lemon or elderflower tonic, garnished with strawberries.
Try it in a Tom Collins using elderflower cordial, lemon juice and sparkling water with the gin.