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When I was visiting East Sussex last fall, a friend took me to a local pub and turned me on to a lovely sparkling lemonade beverage made with elderflowers & rose. Since then, I have discovered a market that sells it here in California. It’s my new alternative to champagne when I’m not wanting alcohol. Of course when I am imbibing, it goes smashingly with vodka and a little fresh lime juice. I’ve christened my new cocktail the Lady Sylvia.

I haven’t yet researched how the elder flower was named, but it brings Silky to my mind. When I knew her as a child, she was a grand dame in her seventies, but she hadn’t lost her impeccable sense of style and was still a great beauty. A perfect English rose, as the saying goes.

Silky captured the attention and heart of a Georgian prince in her fifties. Their gala wedding was the talk of midcentury Manhattan.

I wonder where this idea came from of women no longer being considered attractive simply because they’re no longer young? Like that’s a natural progression. It’s outdated and just not true. I believe our wisdom alone makes us rather lethally gorgeous.

I like to think of the term “elderflower” to describe a lovely woman of a certain age. It sure beats the hell out of Old Lady, Old Maid, Elderly or Senior.

Cheers to the elderflowers!