Elderflowers Key facts The French and Central Europeans produce elderflower syrup, commonly made from an extract of elderflowers, which is added to pancake mixes instead of blueberries. You can also make a syrup to be diluted with water for a refreshing drink. Be aware though that the stems and leaves of elder contain cyanide, so avoid herbal teas made from the leaves!

Season: From May to June (depending upon the weather)

Elderflowers have a wonderful affinity with gooseberries and nature has kindly matched their seasons for us but, until recently, only those who are lucky enough to live in the country and can gather them away from the petrol-fumed roadside have been able to enjoy the delightful combination. Not so now, because available to all in supermarkets and wine shops is an excellent cordial distilled from elderflowers, which makes combining them with gooseberries as easy as pouring them from a bottle.

You may also be interested to know that it makes a superb non-alcoholic drink : one measure of cordial topped with sparkling mineral water and lots of ice. Most refreshing.

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