I had been wanting to try making something with elderflower for a long time. I know they were used in food and drink in period, though I need to nail down more concrete sources before I ever do this as an A&S project, but for an experiment I wasn't too concerned. I had initially planned to do an elderflower wine, but since my other half doesn't drink wine, and I didn't know if I could motor through five gallons of anything on my own, I opted for an elderflower cider, inspired by the Angry Orchard elderflower, which I love.
I picked a bunch of elder flowers in the mountains north of Boise, about enough to fill a plastic grocery bag. It was hard to capture the color correctly, but here's a photo. The scent was really intense, and they were really full of pollen. I sneezed my head off all the way back to Boise, but I'm hoping the brew won't have the same effect.
Despite the prettiness of the tiny flowers, it was really hard to get all the cider off of the lees (the yeast/sediment at the bottom) without sucking half of them up into the carboy I'm using for secondary. Next time I'll use a net bag for the flowers, I think. I added another half gallon of fresh juice when I put it into secondary to help with the flavor, which is still very young and slightly sulfrous, typical for cider. I'll check back in a few weeks when I get ready to bottle it and let you know how it's getting on!