The gorgeous scent of this plant is stronger in the evening than during the day and it is said that moths can smell it from a quarter of a mile away. Its flowers are edible and absolutely delicious – great thrown into salads or used to decorate deserts. They also contain salicylic acid which is the main ingredient in aspirin. A honeysuckle-flower syrup can help ease coughs and sore throats. Keep well away from the berries though and they are poisonous.
The following recipe for Honeysuckle sorbet is a must try!
Pick the flowers on a hot day when the sun has been on them for a few hours.
- 850 g fresh honeysuckle blossoms
- Just under 1.5 litres cool water
- Pinch allspice
- 380 g sugar
- 500 ml water
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Allspice or ground cinnamon
Put flowers in large bowl, cover with cool water and leave overnight to infuse.
To make the syrup, put the sugar and 500 ml water into a pan and stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved. Bring to the boil and boil for a couple of minutes to thicken into a syrup. Turn off the heat and stir in the lemon juice. Leave to cool.
Strain the water from the flowers into a jug, squeezing every last drop of juice out of them. Add the infusion to the syrup with a small pinch of the spice. Pour the mixture into an ice-cream maker. Garnish the finished sorbet with honeysuckle blossom and mint leaves.