21 Jun soda jerks go Blossom Hunting
Summertime has arrived in our local East London Marshes of Hackney and Walthamstow, now bursting with creamy white blooms that have us eyeing the bushes and plotting to make our fresh, fragrant, ultra-seasonal Elderflower Soda. What a time to be alive! Read on to find out how we get that beautiful blossom flavour into our bottles and ready for you to try – grab yours from our shop now, ‘cos this seasonal smasher doesn’t stick around for long!
Once the weather was perfectly sunny but not too warm, on the perfect June day, we rounded up our pals and hit the marshes to harvest nature’s delicious floral bounty. Netto The Soda Pup got plenty of attention as our team and friends gathered at our Soda Works starting point – this was pretty much all his Christmasses happening at once.
Strolling through our urban neighbourhood on our way to the marshes, it feels like a secret to know that just beyond these bright graffiti-plastered walkways lies a lush, verdant sprawl of nature running wild, with trees, plants and creatures living their best life in the East London jungle.
See what we mean?! You can’t hear the birds but trust us, they were giving it all they’ve got in the sunshine, and the warm weather was perfect for Elderflower picking as it ensures the blooms are fresh, dry and in prime condition.
Guiding us on our tour was local resident Man of The Woods, a longtime friend of Square Root and foraging champion John The Poacher. Not a single
Of course, John’s already found the Elderflower heads as big as a dinner plate, full of natural sweetness and incredible aroma. We got right on with gathering plenty up for our soda – but not all of it, of course, as the rules of responsible foraging dictate we always leave enough, higher up in the trees, for the birds and bees who need the nectar now, juicy Elderberries later in the year, and more flowers again next year.
Our pals from Workshop, Watchhouse Coffee, and Gail’s Bakery came along on our adventure and put their backs into the honest, hard work of blossom wrangling. We love to share classic Square Root fun with our fizz friends, and we all learned plenty from John about the local wild plants and flowers and the delicious flavour they offer.
Our Pete didn’t muck around getting to the prize petals in question, however elusive they appeared to be, and nature continued to show right off, chattering away in the early summer sun. This must be what the Japanese call Forest Bathing, think they might be on to something here.
Our satchels bursting with an enormous 15kg of delicate, scented flowers, we ambled back to the Soda Works for a well-earned, icy cold fizzy pop.
To make our foraged treasure into Elderflower Soda, we carefully wash the blooms, then gently steep them with fresh lemon peel in a light sugar syrup to extract all the delicious flavour, just the same as you might do to make Elderflower cordial at home, with no artificial sweeteners or preservatives in sight. Once we’ve added water and bubbles we had enough tasty fizz for an enormous 5500 bottles of soda, which is amazing but we know they won’t last long – as Elderflower Soda is limited to how many flowers we collect it is super seasonal and sells out fast.
Here’s to a perfect day of local foraging with friends, and here’s to next year, we’re already looking forward to it.
Try a taste of this year’s crisp, delicious Elderflower Soda now and tell us what you think of it. We hope it will inspire you to get out into your local green spaces – how about booking your own foraging adventure and heading out with John The Poacher to learn about the delicious treasure in the trees and plants around you? Take it from us, it’s the perfect way to spend a day.