As this is perhaps the plant most associated with honey in its history of mead making and so beloved by bees it is one of my favourite flowers to infuse in honey which I then save for the bleaker winter months to remember the sweetness of summer.
Fresh or Dried Meadowsweet
Raw Local Honey
Bee Pollen (optional)
If using fresh meadowsweet flowers, make sure to pick them on a dry day and allow to dry slightly in a sunny place to make sure there is no water going in the honey. This is a very important step to avoid bacteria spoiling your infusion.
More often than not I simply add the plant matter to the jar of honey as it comes in it’s glass jar rather than transferring everything to a new one. If the honey is very full already you can do this or just use a little bit first so you have a couple of centimeters of free space in the jar.
Slowly press the flowers down into the honey and allow for any air bubbles to leave. If you want to add bee pollen I use about a heaped tablespoon for average sized (300ml) jar. Use a wooden or ceramic spoon or stick to stir it around and add about 10 drops of propolis if you have chosen to include as well. Gently stir and let the air bubbles escape again then, cover, label with date and ingredients and keep in a dry cupboard for at least five days, although I sometimes keep it infusing for up to 6 weeks if I’ve used dried herbs.
To strain out the honey you might need to warm the jar gently in a bath of warm water so that it runs through the strainer easily. If you have a funnel to line with muslin I find that works best, and you can strain it right into another jar. Seal and label again and your honey is ready.
You can use it to sweeten herbal teas, hot milk, yoghurt, porridge or anything else you like.