The word Elder derives from the Anglo Saxon aeld, meaning fire. The hollow stems were used to blow air into the hearth to increase the fire.
There is a lot of folklore connected to the elder tree. It is taboo to burn the wood of an elder. To do so would invite the devil into your home. But planting it by your house, will keep evil spirits away.
This syrup is said to be great for colds. Either way it tastes great on porridge, mixed with hot water to make a tea or as a mixer for gin.
- 500g Elderberries
- 250ml water
- Approx 500g white sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 6 cloves
- 6 allspice berries
Put the elderberries and water in a pan. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes.
Strain the mix through a sieve, pushing the berries through with a spoon.
Measure the liquid and put it back into the pan with equal parts sugar. For example – 500ml to 500g. Add the spices and heat for around 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
Strain through a sieve to remove the spices, into clean, sterile bottles. This should keep for around a year.