The elderflower is known to help boost the immune system and is full of antioxidants, but also tastes great.

Geraldine’s Kate Addis is giving Kiwis a taste of elderflowers with her own brand of natural refreshments, and it’s catching on overseas. Established in 2002, the company was the first to offer elderflower beverages on the domestic market. It now has Asia knocking on its door. The cordial and syrup are made from locally picked elderflowers, which come from sambucus nigra shrubs. The flowers are infused and sent to Christchurch for bottling.

About two tonnes of the flower are picked and processed each year, Ms Addis said. The beverages are sold in bars, supermarkets, delis and specialist food outlets across New Zealand while a small amount is exported to Singapore. “We have been approached by Korea and Hong Kong but are currently scouting the Australian market. We want to extend the domestic market.” Ms Addis said elderflower is known to help boost the immune system and is full of antioxidants, but also tastes great.

The sparkling refreshments were recently displayed at the Auckland Food Show where they received a “very positive response”, Ms Addis said. Things have slowed a bit this year but not due to the recession, she said. “I did long hours last year with about 120 food tastings. I don’t use the word recession although I guess there is one. “I’ve just been at the Auckland Food Show and there wasn’t one there.”

The product is based on old English recipes Ms Addis used when she worked as a nanny in England. Originally from Kaikoura, Ms Addis said her background in real estate had provided her with some knowledge in managing a business. Although the recipe is a closely guarded secret, a taste test revealed a zesty balance of tangy flavours with a sweet aroma.

Elderflower cordial is produced on a larger scale in the United Kingdom where its origins can be traced back through Victorian times to the Roman empire.

Stuff.co.nz

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