Between the sea and the pinewood. That's how I spent my morning with dad, picking elderflower and annoying poor bovoletti. I grew up in this area, as we used to live in a beautiful top floor close by, in a street named after Marco Polo. It is a quiet residential neighbourhood, known mainly for the Jewish cemetery, and for the Church and Monastery of San Nicolò, where the ceremony of The Marriage of the Sea is celebrated every year.
The pinewood is at the far north, preceded by 3 kiosks; two paths lead you to the beach and the diga, the pier. The different trees characterise each season with a different perfume. Right now, the yellow flowers surrounding the chestnut tree have the aroma of honey, so strong to be almost pervasive.
With dad, first we walked along the beach shore, passing through the dunes with all the poppies, then we went on our mission. Once home, I made a light elderflower and lemon drink for these hot summer evenings.
LIGHT ELDERFLOWER DRINK
20 fresh elderflower heads
2 natural lemon
500 gr sugar
1 lt water
1) Clean the elderflower without washing, separate flower heads from stems and keep aside. Thinly slice 2 lemons and keep aside.
2) Put water and sugar into a pot and bring to a simmer. If you like, grate some lemon zests.
Stir until sugar has melted completely.
3) In separate jars, alternate layers of elderflower with layers of lemon slices and pour over the water and sugar mixture. Close the jar carefully and let sit for 2 days, remembering to give it a shake every now and then.
4) After 2 days, filter the liquid with a colander and pour into a bottle.
The drink is not over sugary, thus it's not as thick as a syrup and can be enjoyed alone with lots of ice cubes. Otherwise, you may also consider trying it like this:
For one glass:
1/3 elderflower drink