A few months ago I caught an article about the West’s DIY Food Crafters. Among them was a soda maker named Emily Ho who made sodas out of wild and fresh ingredients. As a likeminded soda hater but carbonation lover I had an instant hero. Life only got better when it turned out we were in the same Master Food Preserver Class (Graduates Tonight!), and just as I suspected she is awesome. Like all great friends, she has introduced me to a new vice: Elderflower Syrup. I have been hooked since she brought it in to share one night. I am fairly certain I was responsible for drinking half the bottle, which amounts to 5-6 glasses of a floral fizzy dream.
Unfortunately I don’t have Elderflowers in my neighborhood. But I had something that very much looked like Elderflowers growing rampant in my neighborhood. I asked gardening and foraging peers and no one could quiet decide. But the honey bees seemed to love it, the scent was divine and I am a brave sort. How else will you discover things? I also had a good lead that even with toxic stems, leaves or roots, blossoms are rarely toxic hence the bee love. In the end all I know is this little bud combined with sparkling water is the best cream soda I have ever had. And it keeps delighting all those I bring it too.
If you decide to be similarly bold, I encourage you to ‘gather ye flower buds while ye may’ I have already begun to see these tiny white flowers begin to wilt. Take this opportunity to have a wild harvest by following some simple guidelines: