Elderflower Kefir recipeFizzy Bubblig Kinder Champagne
June 13, 2012
Last year at this time I got into a bit of a kerfuffle with the local Pole Circle Police regarding the legality of foraging elderflower in the park. Turns out these ill-informed armed guards were under the impression that foraging was illegal. It was a typical win the battle, lose the war moment and facing imminent arrest and not much in the mood to lose the war that day, I did something very unusual for me in a threatening authority situation. I shut the hell up and let the gendarmes finish their harassment shtick.
In order to further boost my burgeoning sense of moral superiority on this foraging issue in all future kerfuffles, I’ve started a personal elder-planting campaign; in the DemoGarden, in the park itself and nurturing little elders in nature. This year I harvested enough of the powdery perfumey flowers from my own sources (and the neighbour’s) to make 20 liters of syrup! And they’re all still blooming away.
My signature drink to make from elderflower syrup is a fermented, floral, lightly bubbled kefir.
To make 1 liter of Elderfower Kefir mix the syrup 1:4 with water and add a few spoons of your water kefir crystals. Let the bottle sit on a sunny windowsill for 3-5 days. Taste, and when it’s a little sweeter than you would normally drink it, put strain out the kefir crystals (the culture remains), bottle the liquid and keep in the fridge a few days.
Placing the bottles in the fridge for a week or so really gets the carbonation going without the drink becoming sour or yeasty. It also prevents the bottles from exploding. I have taken to using the Dutch milk bottles with screw tops. They leak - which is great, because they don’t explode.
The kefir crystals, like all SCOBY’s, are a community of beasts. I’ve found that fermenting at changing temperatures makes for a tastier drink with a nicely textured bubble. The shift from room temperature to the fridge is all the (elderflower) kefir needs.