Friday, November 19, 2010

Summer is acumen in....phew, they're not wrong!!!

As the Mercury is bouncing off 39ºC (just over the old Century) at the moment, and Spring hasn't even finished yet, I'm sharing a favourite summer beverage.  I realise that most of you are descending into the long freezing nights and short cold days of winter now, but perhaps you might like to try it next July!  My other favourite summer beverage is a nice G&T with lots of ice, but this is more guilt free!
The two main ingredients...yep, it's essentially iced tea!

I was overjoyed to discover the Elderflower Cordial in my local supermarket a couple of years ago.  It might sound like an odd thing to get so excited about, but you have to understand that as an Aussie, I've never even seen an Elderflower, let along drunk Elderflower wine or cordial.  But it's something I've grown-up with all the same, because it's the sort of thing that gets mentioned in the kind of books I liked to read as a child, and still like to read.  So you have to understand that to me, the very words "Elderflower Wine" are magic.  It's the sort of thing that Faeries drink.  It's as if you popped into your local Bottle-O and found Hobbit Ale...made in the Shire by genuine Hobbits.  And what was even better, was that it tasted exactly as I imagined it would (there's always the chance of a terrible disappointment in that department)...light and sweet and flowery, like drinking nectar.  

Now, it's lovely on it's own, but it occurred to me that Lady Grey Tea (which I much prefer to the old Earl), being rather light and flowery itself, would marry beautifully.  So I gave it a whirl.  Mmmmmm!

The finished product.  A jug of this out under the apricot tree, this evening when it has cooled down a bit, would be perfect.

OK, so probably not perfect for a northern hemisphere winter, but there you have it anyway.  Magical winter drinks for me would be mulled wine, or a slightly warmed honey liqueur, like this one (scroll down to the bottom of the page).  Hubby and I discovered Bartholomew's on, appropriately enough, our honeymoon!  No I'm not getting a commission, but I'm happy to accept one if they're willing to pay me in Mead!


Oya's Daughter said...

Bless you, elderflower cordial is divine! I have elder growing in my back garden and this year it has very kindly yielded blossom cordial during the summer, and berry cordial for our ailments in winter. I'll have to remember your mixings when (IF?) we get a real summer next year (or ever)

KeLLy aNN said...

I don't think I'm going to wait for Summer! I'm printing this and putting it in my to~do list.
Sounds wonderful too,

Valerianna said...

I love elderberry... it grows all over here. I take it regularly for allergies in spring and summer. I'd love to find elderberry cordial, yum! Happy summer! Its coooold here today, the bird bath water froze.... fire is blazing in the wood stove. I'll try to remember this recipe for next spring!

WOL said...

I just finished a batch of my "spiced apple" beverage, which works hot or cold. Nearly fill a large crock pot with apple juice, add a cup of cranberry juice or pomegranate juice (your choice), about 15-20 whole cloves, 2-3 sticks of cinnamon bark broken up into small pieces, and 1 teaspoon nutmeg. You let it simmer for about 12 hours then strain into a container. (It will "fragrance" the whole house very nicely while it is simmering!) Store refrigerated, and either reheat in the microwave or on the stove, or serve over ice. It is lovely with a judicious portion of sherry or a dessert white wine, or you can add some ginger ale (ginger beer) to make it sparkle and serve over ice. You and the girls could have a glass over ice in the shade together (Yours "with" and theirs "without!"). I've never had any elderberry cordial but you could try mixing some of that in -- who knows? Amoretto is nice in it, too.

Jackie said...

Elderflowers are sort of weeds here but the smell in the early summer is lovely, and I think the cordial captures it.

Ruthie Redden said...

OOh, yes elderflower wine! my grandma used to make it, delicious. Collecting the flowers conjures lovely childhood cornish holiday memories for me. Haven't tried the cordial yet though. We are looking forward to our own christmas mulled wine this year x x

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