A Very Purple Thanksgiving

elderberry_syrup_explosionWe hope you had a relaxing, peaceful Thanksgiving! We enjoyed ours, with the exception of a fermentation…shall we say, incident?

This past summer, we made syrup from the elderberries that grow on our farm – it was a lot of effort that culminated in a single 8-oz bottle of the precious elixir. Since the weather has changed, we’ve started sneezing occasionally, so we pulled out the small bottle that’s been in the fridge.

It looked like the contents had separated a little, so the bottle was gently shaken to redistribute them. The flip top was popped and BAM! the contents gushed out like a geyser, spewing deep purple froth all over the kitchen! Even champagne had nothing on that bottle of “syrup”.

So what happened? It seems that the syrup had apparently fermented in the fridge, probably due to wild yeast on the berries. Pressure built up in the airtight bottle from the carbonation, and you know what happened when the pressure was released…

One unlucky person was showered in the purple stuff, and it went everywhere in the kitchen: floors, shelves, on the dog beds. And it was sticky. A thorough cleaning with the floor steamer took care of the tackiness of the floor, and the dog beds were washed in the washing machine. As you can imagine, it took some time to wipe everything down. Lesson learned: (homemade) elderberry syrup will only go into bottles that aren’t airtight, and caution will be exercised when opening it.

And the elderberry soda? There was only enough remaining in the bottle for two shot glasses full, but it was delicious.

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