A simple life is a happy one, learning to enjoy, explore and discover whatever your age :)

Elder – the giving tree

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Older, wiser, yet young I may be, drink twice of the riches that come from me by Grace Banks

Making drinks from the elder tree’s flowers and fruits is fun, but…

Which one is the elder tree?

Identifying the elder tree by its leaf

Some other trees’ leaves look similar to the elder. This is the elder leaf – it has 5-7 leaflets on a green stem:

The ash tree and the rowan tree also have leaflets, but they are quite different.

The ash tree usually has 13-15 leaflets, which are slim and long. In June the fruit are developing into long keys:

The rowan tree leaf has serrated leaflets on a red stem. The flowers form a white upright floret. They fade mid June to develop into bright red berries:

Now you know which tree, let’s get harvesting!

Elderflower cordial

This is the most delicious and easy recipe to make πŸ™‚

Here are the ingredients:

  • 5 elderflower florets in full bloom gathered in the sun
  • 375ml water
  • 625g sugar
  • 1 lemon
  • 21g citric acid (optional)

Now follow the steps to make this tasty diluting drink πŸ™‚

  1. Pick 5 elderflower florets, remove any large twigs, leaves but do not worry about the flower stems:

2. Empty water and sugar into your saucepan and heat gently, stirring often, until the water is clear. Boil for a moment, then remove from heat and cool:

3. Take your lemon and shave the zest with a potato peeler. Now slice the fruit:

4. Give the flowers a quick dicht to remove dust and insects – just a swish in a sterilised bowl of cold water or you’ll lose the flowerheads!

5. Citric acid – why? This gives your cordial flavour an extra ‘zing’ and helps preserve the drink for longer, but you don’t have to add any:

6. Add ingredients to the saucepan and stir:

7. Leave covered for 24hrs.

8. After 24hrs you can strain the cordial into a sterilised bowl through a sieve covered in kitchen roll:

9. Pour your cordial into a sterilised bottle:

10. Enjoy πŸ™‚

And in the autumn, more to harvest…

Elderberry juice


  • 5 elderberry florets
  • 2 apples
  • 166mls water
  • 133g sugar
  1. Remove any larger twigs from the berries and wash. Peel, core and cut up apples into slices:

2. Put water, berries and apples in saucepan and bring to the boil. Cook for 20-30mins :

3. Strain juice into a bowl through a sieve covered in kitchen roll:

4. Pour juice back into saucepan and add sugar. Heat and stir until all the sugar is dissolved.

5. Pour into a sterilised bottle…or drink immediately hot:

6. Enjoy πŸ™‚

Thanks for joining me, hope you’ve had fun!

Author: graceeyetoheart

My work springs from my love of nature and supporting others to touch, discover and be in the outdoors. This work often intermingles with my love of story, music and song.

One thought on “Elder – the giving tree

  1. Pingback: Oot ma door 8 – the elder tree | silverhaar

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