So it’s that time of year where you start thinking about Christmas presents. More specifically, what can you make for presents this year?! A friend at work brought in some elderberries from his garden, and after a quick google search I found this recipe for some elderberry liqueur. I don’t really drink (except for the odd amaretto and cranberry, or a splash of amaretto in hot chocolate) but really fancied having a go at this, and thought it might be a good Christmas gift idea. Not that I’ve ever had an elderberry, so I don’t know what they taste like! According to the recipe I found on Hunter Gardener Angler Cook, it should be a bit like port wine. You need to make sure that when you pick the berries you don’t include any of the storks, as they are slightly toxic apparently. Here goes…
1 pint fresh elderberries (this worked out at 567g/20oz)
1 litre vodka
3 one-inch pieces of lemon rind, white pith removed
1. Put elderberries into a large Mason jar and pour over the vodka.
2. Add the lemon rind (make sure the rind has no white pith, as it is bitter.) Seal and put in a dark cupboard for at least a month, or up to 6 months.
3. The alcohol will extract flavor from the elderberries over time, so the longer you let it sit, the inkier it will get.
4. When it is the colour you want – anything from a Pinot Noir color to downright black — pour the vodka through a strainer lined with cheesecloth into another jar and add sugar.
5. How much sugar? At least 1/4 cup, but to your taste; I go with 1/3 cup. Shake to combine and put back in the cupboard.
After a few days or weeks, the sugar will completely dissolve and the elderberry liqueur is ready to drink. It keeps forever.