Simple syrup is the base for some wonderful beverages. I really don’t like throwing sugar in anything that doesn’t need it, but the special syrups you can use to flavor your sparkling water or your champagne cocktail aren’t just sugar… And they sure must be better that your cola or other store bought soda with the added caramel coloring and gums and ridiculous preservatives. Just water, sugar, fruit, flower, herbs… Last year I made the Elderflower Cordial. I made that again for my last night at Aromatherapy Class … the exam and last meal together. I met some really cool people there. Unique as ever you would run into anywhere. We all grew up a little together in the process of learning about plant essential oils and the reaction on the human body.
But the Elixer!
First, making my elderflower… I had noticed that the wild elder flowers were starting to leaf and bloom on the highway as I drove up to San Francisco on Highway 1… awesome commute to the city, with the ocean on one side and the mountains on the other. At the bottom of Bonny Doon Road where I turn up to my mountain paradise, I have seen the elders flowering here also. I stopped on the highway last year to pick some and stepped into and reached over poison oak to get at the aromatic flowers. Again a hazard at the riverside plants at the bottom of the road, the stinging nettles are around the elder flowers there. I tried to find a way to some plants without the nettles so close, and as I thought I had missed them, sure enough my thumb grazed a hairy stinging nettle stem and my foot, wearing a flat open shoe, brushed against some nettle that I had not seen. So that was an experience. I was worried that the red itchy blisters would be bothering me for days, but before I even thought to put the aloe vera and lavender blend on the rash, it was already diminishing in intensity. Within hours it was gone. Whew!
So I came home, made my Elderflower Cordial for the class party, and it needed to sit for two days steeping so I was on schedule. Then later, during that sleep challenged night, I thought wow… I have some blood oranges and wouldn’t they make a beautiful syrup! So I got up and boiled my water, added the sugar and grated the peel of and sliced the naked grated peeled blood oranges and set them in to steep. I had picked some mint that day and so I thought what a nice way to have your blood orange… with mint! And two days later, it was!
And the Color! Brilliant!
I must try it with tequila or vodka for a stronger beverage.
If you come up with some beverage ideas please share them with us.
The aromatherapy class assignment was to make foods and beverages to add essential oils to. essential oils I am learning are very capable of healing our emotions and our bodies. I added a drop of the lemon Essential Oil to the Elderflower cordial, and to the blood orange I added the Peppermint essential oil. Mint is great for the memory, for muscle aches, and for respiration, clearing the sinuses as for allergy.
Try making an elixer with flowers, fruit, herbs. I am trying Roses and mint and lemon balm right now. I had it for my second aromatherapy class at a pot luck exam day. It was a hit and I didn’t steep it even for 24 hours. I will put the rest back into the refrigerator for a day and see if it draws more rose flavor.
I also tried a syrup made with Kumquats and mint last month that I took to a friends house. Everyone loved it and it is an interesting beverage for children and your friends who aren’t drinking wine. Festive and unique. Elegant in a wine glass or in a tall ice tea glass. A sprig of mint, a slice of lemon or orange, or a flower, violet, pansy, rose… Beautiful!
Just walk out into your garden and pick some roses, some peppermint and that lemon balm that is growing wild everywhere and you keep pulling it out and cutting it back.