Summer Foraging Recipe: Elderberry-Blueberry Jam with Chia Seeds

In the woodland valleys of Central California, Elderflower trees have been in bloom all spring with their prolific, lacy white blossoms.  I've enjoyed making Elderflower syrup, candied elderflowers and sweet Elderflower Tempura.  A few days ago, I noticed that some of the trees are starting to bear fruit -- diminutive, tart little berries, deep purplish-blue growing in heavy clusters.  

Inspired by a love of biscuits and jam, foraging, and adapted from a recipe from Simply Beyond Herbs, I whipped up a simple and delicious jam made from the foraged Elderberries, fresh blueberries and using chia seeds for a perfect jammy consistency.

Enjoy and Happy Foraging!
PrintWith ImageWithout Image Elderberry-Blueberry Chia JamYield: One half-pint jarAuthor: Jenn Erickson Prep time: 10 MCook time: 10 MTotal time: 20 M An easy and delicious sweet-tart jam to make from foraged Elderberries. Ingredients:1 1/2 cups elderberries, rinsedPinch of salt1 cup blueberries, rinsed2 Tablespoons Chia Seeds1/2 Tabl…

Honeysuckle Rose Gin & Tonic

Here's to Summer with a perfect cocktail to toast the end of the school year -- A Honeysuckle Rose Gin & Tonic.  A touch of homemade honeysuckle-lemon simple syrup and honeysuckle infused gin (or vodka if you prefer) make for a delightful twist on the classic!  

If you prefer a vodka tonic, replace the gin in the recipe with vodka.  Simple.

Honeysuckle Rose Gin & Tonic

Honeysuckle Rose Gin & Tonic

Yield: 2
Prep time: 24 hourCook time: 10 MTotal time: 24 H & 10 M
Fresh honeysuckle is used to infuse a lemon simple syrup as well as the gin (or vodka). The two come together with tonic and rose petals for a beautiful summertime cocktail.


For the honeysuckle syrup
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 cups rinsed honeysuckle flowers
  • Zest of 1/2 a small lemon
For the honeysuckle infused Gin or Vodka
  • 6 ounces gin* or vodka
  • 1 cup rinsed honeysuckle flowers
For the cocktails
  • 14 ounces tonic (keep it simple)*
  • 6 ounces honeysuckle infused vodka or gin (flowers strained out and discarded)
  • 4-6 Tablespoons honeysuckle-lemon simple syrup
  • Ice
  • A dash or rosewater (optional, if you want a light rose flavor)
  • For garnish:  2 sprigs honeysuckle and a few rose petals, rinsed


  1. To make the Honeysuckle Simple Syrup:   Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Remove from heat and stir in sugar till it dissolves.  Stir in the lemon zest and honeysuckle.  Cool slightly, then transfer to covered glass jar and refrigerate overnight.  When ready to use the next day (or up to 14 days after), simply strain out the spent blossoms and lemon zest).
  2. To infuse the gin or vodka:  In a sterilized mason jar, stir together the honeysuckle blossoms and gin or vodka.  Refrigerate, covered, overnight or until ready to use.  Strain out blossoms before using.
  3. To make the cocktail:  Fill two tumblers with ice.  Put a few rose petals into each glass.  Pour 3 ounces of the infused vodka or gin into each glass over the ice.  Pour 7 ounces of tonic into each glass.  Add 2-3 Tablespoons of the infused syrup to each glass.  Stir, taste, adjust.  If you want a hint of rose flavor, add just a small splash of rose water and stir.  The rose petals themselves don't give off any flavor.  Garnish with a few more rose petals and a sprig of honeysuckle in each glass.  Enjoy!


I recommend going with a more neutral (less botanical) gin as well as the tonic. You don't want a lot of aromatics competing with the flavor of the honeysuckle.
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