This Elderflower Drink recipe is GAPS-friendly: honey instead of sugar.

It is a very refreshing and a popular Scandinavian drink in the summertime. In that Nortern hemisphere Elderflowers are in full blossom around Midsummer. If you leave them on the bush, the flowers will turn into berries in the autumn. But that´s something else!

You will need

The mixture must sit for 5 days in a very cold room or in the fridge.
This makes about 4 liters concentrated juice

1. Using scissors, chop off the large parts of the stems. Place the small white aromatic flowers in a large pot. The pot should have a size that can be placed in the fridge; alternatively, you can place it in a cold cellar or something like that.

2. Wash and slice the lemons and mix them with the flowers.

3. Bring 3 liters water to the boil. Drizzle the tartaric acid over the flowers and pour the boiling hot water over the flower-lemon mixture, as if you were making a huge pot of tea.

4. While this flower sea is cooling down to 35 degrees celsius, which may last about 1 hour, you can prepare (=weigh) the honey and have it ready for use in a bowl. When the flower mixture is cooled to about 35 degrees, pour the honey into the pot. This sweet golden mass will dissolve slowly in the next days.

5. Cover with a lid and let the pot sit in a cool place. The cool temperature is to prevent this flower mixture to start molding, as we don´t use any sort of conservation stuff.
Stir at least once a day.

6. After the five days of brewing, pass the concentrated juice though a sieve, or a cloth, leaving just the clear juice. If you keep the juice in bottles, you will need to sterilize them with boiling hot water, and I suggest that you afterwards rinse them inside with a small amount of vanilla vodka as well. You can also keep the juice in the freezer, please read more about that below.

Serving suggestions

  • When you enjoy this Elderflower Summerdrink, remember that you have made a concentrate! This means, that you should mix for instance 1/2 dl of it with 3 dl water.
  • The drink is especially refreshing if you use cold, carbohydrated water. Add an icecube, a slice of lemon or a fresh strawberry.
  • If you throw a party, you can make a GAPS-cocktail with Elderflowerdrink, gin, carbohydrated water, an icecube and a slice of lime.
  • If you didn´t drink it all during summer, it is nice to have some stored for cold days as well. In a mug, pour 1/2 dl of the concentrate and add boiling hot water. Add a slice of lemon and enjoy.

How to keep it
Sodium benzoate or other conservation remedies are out on the GAPS-diet, so here I give you 3 alternative ways to store the concentrate:

  • Keep some in your fridge to use in the first period.
  • Freeze the fluid in small portions. For instance you can use ice-cube trays. For serving, place one cube in a glass, add water and voila – ready to drink!
  • Rinse and scald glas bottles. Wash the corks and the inside of the bottles with vanilla vodka. Use very clean utensils when you fill the bottles with your Elderflower concentrate. Close bottles with the corks.

Why raw honey for this drink? It can be pretty difficult to get hold of, and it´s expensive in these amounts. However, you will not need to buy any other sort of juice in a supermarket for a long period. Remember, it is not ment to be a daily drink, that you can just swallow in large amounts, when you are following the GAPS-diet. No sweetened food or drink is healing food anyway, so this recipe is for fun, for a party or a special day. And why the raw honey – well, that golden sweetener contains good properties for the health. And why miss them? However, they disappear, when the honey is heated above approx. 35 degrees celsius. That´s why I suggest not to add the honey before the flower mixture has cooled down to that temperature.

For obvious reasons, find the Elderberry bushes fare away from highways, motorways and other polluted surroundings. The flowers are not supposed to be rinsed, as we would like to have the pollen to taste in this mixture. Remove bits and pieces from the flowers, if you see some, including leaves, by hand!

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