This recipe is taken from the BBC Series ‘Grow Your Own Drugs‘ which was presented by James Wong who is an ethno-botanist at Kew Gardens in London. The book version of the series was published by HarperCollins. Try it, you might even like it.
There are plenty of other recipes if you search on-line for ‘grow your own drugs’.
The recipe is after the break…
The following is taken from the accompanying BBC webpage for the programme.
10-15 fresh elderflower heads
12 eucalyptus leaves
2 tbsp linseed
3 tsp dried elderberries
1 cup Gum Arabic
2 cups icing Sugar
4 cups hot water
- 1. Firstly, put about 10-15 elderflower heads into 3 cups of freshly boiled water to create a basic infusion. Add 2 tbsp of linseed and 12 eucalyptus leaves and leave for about an hour. It’s ready when the pure watery liquid starts to have a similar consistency to egg white.
- 2. Whilst it’s infusing, use a pestle and mortar to break up a cup of Gum Arabic into the smallest pieces you can – this is so it dissolves as easily as possible. Into that add 3 tsp of dried elderberries and crush.
- 3. Next, add the Gum Arabic mixture into a cup of hot water. Stir using a spoon until the granules of gum have turned into a thick, treacly jam-like consistency.
- 4. Strain the infusion, and add a cup and a half of it to the Gum Arabic mixture. Next, add 2 cups of icing sugar and mix; the sugar acts as a preservative and gives it body.
- 5. Place it on a low heat and stir continuously for about half an hour until it gets to a really thick, syrup-like consistency and starts to come away from the sides of the pan. You can also test by pouring it with the spoon and touching it; if it doesn’t stick to your finger it’s ready, but do be careful as it could be hot.
- 6. Finally pour onto a baking tray lined with greaseproof paper and leave to set. When it’s hard it’s just a case of bashing it until you get the right size pieces!
STORAGE: Coat the lozenges with icing sugar to stop them sticking together, and to take out some of the moisture.
VARIATION: If you want to make a cough syrup instead of lozenges, just add half the amount of sugar.