Saturday, September 29, 2012

A Sip of the Alps!

A recent discovery has my taste-buds rejoicing! Whether enjoying a superb infused cocktail of St. Germain French Liqueur with champagne or simply mixing Holunder syrup with white wine or eating toasted bread slathered with apple preserves elevated by blossoms the flavor thrills me no end! Subsequently, asking an abundance of questions and doing the research has opened a new world. And in Switzerland (where I write this) it’s called Holunderbluten or Elderflower (Sambucus nigra). So Very Good! WOW!

Seems there is a berry producing variety (Sambucus Canadensis) that some old fashioned North American grandmothers have turned into elderberry wine. However, this is not the same plant although related. The extremely fragrant blossom is attached to the euro variety found throughout western and central Europe where it is so common not much is done with it outside the attentions of grandmothers and a french liqueur producer. Some even consider it a weed as remarked a patron of Swiss restaurant Salzhaus, who commented too much of his youth was spent beating back the Holunder bushes on the family property. Others standing in the same group agreed about lost youth in the struggle with overbearing Elderberry bushes. Though not embraced universally with great enthusiasm you'll find any number of local restaurants where they'll mix this blossom syrup with a simple white wine. The results are divine.
Running with the grandmother theme and their unerring knowledge of wonderfully sip-able beverages, I am taken with the idea of home-made Elderflower Cordial. First step is to locate the seed for Holunder/Elderflower (Sambucus nigra). Being the object is the blossom this shall forever remain a spring harvest. And once the cordial and jams are made you have only to enjoy the taste of summer throughout the year and that's what I call good timing. More as the story unfolds! Now off to local Swiss garten centres in search of seed!

Copyright © Mick Huerta 2012. 
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All Accordin' - Travel, Culture, Food & Wine!

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