I always feel quite sad at the end of the Elderflower season as for several weeks my kitchen is filled with their heady scent as they are steeped, dried, fried and crystallised. The beauty of seasons though is that as one ends another is just getting underway and just as the last Elderflowers disappear from our hedgerows the creamy sprays of Meadowsweet appear and last all the way through to September.
As the name suggests it’s flavour is naturally sweet, it has hints of vanilla and almond about it and makes the most beautiful syrup. The addition of rose makes for a warming exotic tasting drink when combined with soda water, and a wonderful cocktail addition.
- 1 bag meadowsweet flowers, stalks removed (about 800g)
- 3 kg sugar
- 2L water
- rosewater (to taste, I added about 150ml)
- Combine your sugar and water in a big pot and heat until all the sugar is dissolved.
- Add your meadowsweet flowers, stir then leave to steep for 2-3 days.
- Line a colander with muslin then strain your syrup.
- Taste the syrup, you can reduce it over a gentle heat to concentrate the flavour if you like otherwise if you are happy then add your rosewater bit by bit until you are happy with the flavour then decant into sterilised bottles. I buy cheap 500ml water bottles and fill them 3/4 full before putting them in the freezer, that way my syrup lasts all through the year until the next season comes around.
** From Wikipedia: About one in five people with asthma has Samter’s triad, in which aspirin induces asthma symptoms. Therefore, asthmatics should be aware of the possibility that meadowsweet, with its similar biochemistry, will also induce symptoms of asthma.