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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Elderflower Pressé

elderflower presse

I've always had an unnatural passion for all things British. When I was 14, and saw the BBC production of Romeo and Juliet, I swooned — in the swoony swoon way that only a 14-year-old girl can do — for the young man who played Romeo. I swear, I started reading Shakespeare only because Patrick Ryecart was so cute. (Luckily, I kept reading for other reasons.) The Beatles, Brideshead Revisited, bangers and mash — if it was British, I loved it.

After living in Great Britain twice, my passion became calmed when swirled with the real-life details of maddening traffic on the South Circular Road, only 3 television channels (and one of them played a test card of a girl with a clown from midnight until 9), and the not-pleasant surprise of apple pies baked without sugar. At 16, my vision of the place matured beyond swoony swoon.

I love all things British even more for that, now.

My friend Kairu loves the British things too. Last week, for a party, she brought bottles of this Elderflower Presse by Belvoir Fruit Farms. She admitted that she first read about elderflower cordial in a British novel she bought at the airport to keep herself occupied. I'm glad that she had to read a trashy book. That means I've experienced this drink.

Slightly fruity, with a hint of citrus, this drink is subtle. It's not soda. It's not sparkling water. It's not overly sweet. It is delicious. Elderflowers feel very British and Victorian, don't they? Their taste, however, is quite modern. Floral and faint, not enough to assert, just enough to please. I'm hooked.

Danny doesn't drink and I rarely do. Finding interesting non-alcoholic beverages is somewhat difficult, however. This elderflower cordial has the feeling of fine wine, without the alcohol.

And of course, it's gluten-free.

Belvoir Fruit Farms makes a series of appetizing-sounding drinks: cranberry pressé, lime and lemongrass pressé, and cucumber-mint-and-geranium blossom pressé.

Of course, shipping from the UK can be pricey here in the US. Our friend Kairu buys her elderflower pressé by the case at Big John's PFI, here in Seattle.

If you try some, let us know where you found it and what you think.



Blogger Dia said...

A Brit friend recommended Elderflower presse several years ago - indeed, yum!!
I just began making water kefir (first batch is still 'incubating') & elderflowers would be a nice additon for the second ferment!! hmmmm - our blue elders (with the flat 'umble' of flowers & berries) is suitable for 'elder blow' wine - you shake the heads to remove the flowers, which allows the head to fruit as well. We do have the non-edible red elders in our woods, so you need to know which is which!
Just made my first nettle pesto of the season - heavenly!!!

February 28, 2010 at 1:54 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

It is also awfully good with gin on the rocks!

February 28, 2010 at 2:16 PM  
Blogger Tassiegal said...

Tasmania has something similar - except we call it Elderflower cordial - made right here in the state and it is lovely!

If the presse is similar to the cordial try it with a dash of soda water, its lovely. Its also lovely added into things as a flavour lifter.

February 28, 2010 at 2:33 PM  
Blogger Molly said...

Beloir also makes an elderflower cordial that can be mixed with soda water or sparkling wine.

February 28, 2010 at 10:02 PM  
Blogger Ana said...

As someone who rarely drinks I am excited to try this out! It sounds delicious!

March 1, 2010 at 8:39 AM  
Blogger Laura said...

well I saw it and looked up the German translation right away (since I live i Germany) and yes Holunder - well we love it! We drink it here as syrup with still water, water with gas or soda, we put the syrup in Champagne, prosecco or sekt - it is wonderful! And in fact in the German speaking world, pretty common. Always have a bottle of syrup around - or saft (juice) for all this delightful mixing.

March 10, 2010 at 12:08 PM  
Anonymous VictoriaB said...

This is delicious. Some brands sell it as a cordial syrup so you can get a lot more drinks out of one bottle, rather than already made-up cordial like the one you pictured. Here's a link to the recipe on

March 13, 2010 at 7:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

great to make gimlet with. take martini shaker add lots of ice, one part vodka, one- two part elderberry presse, fresh lime juice one lime and shake like a martini, pour into chilled glass..

March 27, 2010 at 1:02 PM  
Blogger The Single Gal said...

It's at Cost Plus World Market! I tried the Cranberry/Raspberry... it was good but the Elderflower is the best-

Love the little sticker on the cap too :)

March 31, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Hannah Azevedo said...

Sounds delicious and is going on my shopping list - Thanks! Since you like interesting non-alcoholic drinks, have you tried Dry Soda yet? I hear the Lavender one is exquisite!

April 11, 2010 at 5:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I discovered this drink in Northern Ireland, up by the shore. The Hubs and I really liked it.

Thanks for the lunch break smile and memory!

April 22, 2010 at 10:20 AM  

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