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Make Elderflower Champagne

by Claire Winlow (follow)
DIY (61)      Make it Yourself (22)      Food (17)      Drinks (4)      Wedding (3)      Elderflower (1)     


elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own


There's something quintessentially English about the heady scent of Elderflowers in the summer and the refreshing homemade drinks you can create. Flowering in early summer, they are common particularly in the south of England. Keep your eyes peeled and you'll notice them everywhere. I picked mine from a local park while my kids played on the swings.



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own
Elderflowers in full bloom at my local park


I had two options for the flowers I collected. Non alcoholic cordial or an alcoholic sparkling 'champagne'. I decided to give the sparkling a go with great success.

Time: 45 minutes preparation and several weeks fermenting.



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own
Elderflowers up close


Materials
15-16 Elderflower heads
700g sugar
4 litres hot water
2 litres cold water
Zest and juice from 4 lemons
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Large pot, bucket or suitable container
Sieve
Muslin
Funnel
Bottles (plastic screw cap, glass with champagne corks or Grolsch style bottles with a flip lid)

Method
Pick Elderflower heads in full bloom.

Disolve the sugar in 4 litres of hot water.



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own


Add two litres of cold water.

Add the lemon juice, zest and vinegar



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own
The drink would be too sweet without a little lemon



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own
Place the Elderflowers in and mix well


Add the Elderflower heads. You don't need to remove the individual petals as everything will be filtered later.

Stir well, cover with a muslin and leave in a cool dark place for two days.

Check your concoction and if it's not starting to foam slightly add a pinch of yeast. You won't see bubbles at this point, only later when it's bottled.

Leave for a further four days.

Remove the large heads of elderflower.



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own


Place a muslin into a sieve and then pour the mixture through. This will remove any stray flowers and other natural 'bits'.



elderflower, champagne, sparkling, wine, make your own


Decant into bottles for 1-2 weeks and then serve chilled.

I experimented with different bottles and found that the best bottles to use were empty plastic bottles that you would buy fizzy drinks in. You may need to release the pressure a couple of times while it's fermenting.

The Elderflower champagne will be alcoholic with the strength varying depending on the batch of flowers you've used.

I served my wonderfully fragrant and lightly sparkling champagne at a summer party and everyone came back for more. It would be lovely to make for a wedding too.

Categories
#Elderflower
#DIY
#Make It Yourself
#Wedding
#Drinks
#Food
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