The hardest, most difficult part of March is for me it’s seemingly manic weather moods. I know I’m not going to get much sympathy from those of you currently buried up to your eyeballs in snow, but here in the Pacific Northwest we’re dealing with some seriously unusual weather. For us.
Each year without fail, we get one or two really nice days in March, but the rest are the usual windy, wet, freezing temps that make you long for nothing more than warm socks and a hot fire. So far this year we’re all warm and sunny during the day (60 degrees!) and frigid, frigid cold at night. All the poor plants in my garden are seriously confused. Heck, I’m confused. And our mountain snow pack is almost nonexistent.. Can you say impending drought? Sob.
I know the rest of you would give your eye teeth to be confused like me, and suffer through our 60 degree days, so as a gesture of my sympathy, I’m bringing you this very, very springlike cocktail.
Elderflower cordial is one of those things I think that not too many people in the U.S. are familiar with. Hugely popular abroad (and very much so in Scandinavia) it’s basically the delicious syrup created by steeping Elderflower blossoms in a warm simple syrup overnight. It’s lightly fragrant taste goes especially well with lemons and I think therefore by extension, thyme.
To up the Scandinavian ante, I sometimes make this drink with a splash of light aquavit. I mostly drink it however mixed with sparkling water, a slice of lemon and a lightly bruised sprig of thyme. This is the perfect drink to serve to friends who prefer not to imbibe in alcohol as it can be suited to everyones taste.
One bottle of cordial will last you quite awhile. Only the tiniest amount is used in preparing a drink. I prefer about 1 teaspoon to 8 oz. It’s readily available at a variety of markets in our area, Kroger stores particularly, but if you can’t find it where you live, you can also order it rather inexpensively from Amazon.
I’m on a hunt this year to find an Elderflower bush as I’d like nothing better than to make my own. Until then, I’ll happily drink what I have and raise a glass to spring and you, my snow bound friends!
This spring as it comes bursts up in bonfires green,
Wild puffing of emerald trees, and flame-filled bushes,
Thorn-blossom lifting in wreaths of smoke between
Where the wood fumes up and the watery, flickering rushes. -D H Lawrence
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- Elderflower and Thyme Cocktail
- 2 tsp. Elderflower cordial divided
- 8 oz. Prosecco, Champagne or sparkling water
- 1 oz. aquavit or gin divided, optional
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 slices lemon
- In the bottom of each glass, gently press the thyme sprig with the handle of a wooden spoon or muddler to release it's oils. Pour the cordial in each glass, then add the aquavit or gin if using. Pour the sparkling wine on top, gently stir, then garnish with the lemon.
- For an nonalcoholic beverage, just omit the sparkling wine and aquavit and use sparkling water. It will taste just as delicious, I promise!