Amazing D'arbo elderflower syrup
Sometimes it is quite tough to get proper products here in the Middle East.
After the whole controversy with Monin, I was looking for a good syrup company.
Some syrups like grenadine [made with real pomegranate juice and cane sugar, a bit off hibiscus, orange flower water and maybe even aronia juice] is pretty easy to make yourself. However others like elderflower, which is quite a trend flavor [and really a great flavor] is much more difficult to do - at least here in the Middle East, where you don't have elder trees growing.
To be honest I was quite disappointed by Fabbri. While I am still a big fan of their amarena cherries, their syrups... suck! They are a bit more natural as the ones of Monin - but still pack quite some conservatives, artificial color and other stuff, which is simply not convincing.
Still have to test Toschi - but these syrups might be very similar to the other big commercial companies. I will test them in future; stay tuned.
Back to Darbo - I got one sample - it took quite some time, as the trading company in the UAE usually doesn't sell syrups [but jams and honey and other stuff of Darbo].
It is already long time ago, that I went across this brand - and this product. Back then I worked for the Hyatt Regency Cologne and participated in an IBA [in Germany called DBU] cocktail challenge. Long story short, I took the risk to use Darbo instead of Monin due to their amazing quality and was disqualified from the competition as the rules dictated, that you have to use a sponsored product, as long as it was available...
The syrups looks "natural". It is slightly hazy and has a light golden color.
You could only call it: intoxicating. Who doesn't know elderflower, would directly associate it with a strong hint of passion fruit [besides of the sourness of passion fruit, both are sharing very similar aromas], in the wine world I'd associate the fragrance with sauvignon blanc. But it also has a hint of funk, which is more like osmanthus flowers [another twin-character of elderflower].
Very similar to the nose. A strong elderflower taste, with a bit of a funk [in a good way]. The "funk" let it taste more natural and less candy/artificial.
There is also a fine balance of acidity, which obviously comes from the citric acid.
Besides of the amazing taste, it has to be mentioned, that the flavor as the smell is quite strong and concentrated. This comes from the use of quite a lot of elderflower extract [50%!]. If you are using it, and also like to utilize the sweetness of the sugar, it might mean, that you could use less and add simple or rich syrup additional.
My experience made me being a bit more cautious. What was 12 years good, doesn't necessary need to be now at the same quality. However Darbo kept their product authentic and well on the highest standards.
The guys of Darbo send me the "Hugo" recipe, which is apparently a quite trendy and popular drink [an elderflower sweetened spritzer with additional mint] - This might be a nice refreshing drink - though due to the sheer quality I would even advocate to have a drop in a glass of champagne. Or - you could just add some soda water to make a tasty sparkling flavored soda.
Or you could make a "real" elderflower soda out of it, just adding a bit more sugar and citric acid and dilute it far more in carbonated water.
Whatever you like to do [an elderflower collins comes to my mind - or even a elderflower flavored Tommy's margarita] - you will have an amazing product on hand, which you cannot really criticize at all.
It is odd - but this is one of the greatest products I reviewed [on the blog and in the job] for a long time!
10 out of 10 points - hands down!