Respect Your Elders / by Julian Bayuni

So, it’s the end of May and I find myself in the heart of Vondel Park in the afternoon sun with a bin bag and a quest...

The elderflower heads are in full bloom and ready for collecting, my quest to make elderflower cordial for a cocktail being launched in the July menu at Vesper Bar. I have made this cordial before back on my parents farm in England, and the distinctive elderflower floral aromas always leave me longing for this time of the year to come around again.

 In this wonderful city of Amsterdam there are plenty of surprises when it comes to foraging. At Vesper we plan to embrace these offerings and make as many of our craft ingredients as possible from local sources. Making elderflower cordial from scratch, as well as being incredibly satisfying, has a much smaller carbon footprint as all ingredients are collected by foot or by bike.

I respectfully plucked about 100 heads of elderflower making sure not to take too many from one area and took them home to combine with orange, lemon, sugar, water and citric acid. This makes about 5 litres of cordial which features in our floral, sweet and sparkling cocktail ‘Vondel Park Spritz’.

- Dougie O'Keefe - 

Images courtesy of David Costa