Making Elderflower Champagne is a fantastic way of turning free, foraged ingredients and low-cost store cupboard ingredients, into a few large bottles of actual alcohol. If you are new to making home brew, Elderflower Champagne is a great place to start.
This drink is so cheap and easy to make. The result is a delicious, elegant drink that you can take to a picnic or BBQ and share with friends, or just enjoy at home on a summer’s evening when you fancy something refreshing.
Foraging for Elderflower is pretty simple and the flowers are easy to spot. They have a creamy white colour with a very distinctive smell. They appear in large, flat heads in early summer, usually at the end of May and beginning of June. Elderflower heads should be picked as they are just coming into flower. You can read more about Elderflower varieties on Wikipedia here: Elderflower
Elderflower Champagne Recipe
- 6 large heads of Elderflower (gently shake the heads to remove any insects but do not wash them as you will need all the blossom to ferment your brew!)
- 4 ½ Litres of water
- 2 sliced lemons
- 450g granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar
- Add the 6 heads of Elderflower, and the sliced lemons to the 4 ½ litres of water in a large bowl. You can split between a couple of bowls if you like. Cover the bowl with a clean tea towel to keep insects away and Leave the mixture to steep for 24-36 hours
- Strain your mixture through a sieve into another bowl – you can now discard the Elderflower and lemon slices
- Add the 450g of sugar and the 2 tablespoons of cider vinegar and give it a good stir
- Pour into clean plastic bottles with screw top lids – close the lid but not tightly. As the mixture ferments the pressure will build in the bottles and you will need to release the pressure every couple of days. Releasing the pressure
avoids an exploding bottle and an Elderflower-flavoured kitchen
- Keep releasing the pressure every couple of days for 4-5 weeks. If you like you can do the occasional taste test during this time, as the longer you leave it, the drier (and stronger) the drink gets
- After the above fermentation time of about 5 weeks, firmly close each bottle and store in a cool dark place, until you are ready to drink!
- This drink will keep for months in the cupboard… but it doesn’t usually get a chance to! Tastes best if it has been chilled in the fridge for a couple of hours
Enjoy home brewing!
You might also enjoy this earlier post with a home brew Sloe Gin recipe: Make it: Sloe Gin
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