Tuesday, 2 July 2013

how to make elderflower champagne


I've tried lots of different ways to make elderflower champagne, but this is my favourite most tried and tested method. 


Makes around 20 bottles 

Ingredients
About 30 elderflower heads, in full bloom (pick on a sunny day away from the roadside, making sure you don't strip a tree of all its flowers!)
2kg natural sugar
4 litres hot water + 2 litres cold
Juice and zest of four lemons
1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
A pinch of dried yeast (although you may not need this)

Method
1. Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (a preserving pan or spotlessly clean bucket is good) and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water to 6 litres.
2. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.
3. Cover with a clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, and if it’s not becoming a little foamy and obviously beginning to ferment, add a pinch of yeast.
4. Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further four to five days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised glass bottles.
5. Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for a further eight days before serving, chilled.





6 comments:

  1. What a perfect post Emma, just what I "need" to make x looking lovely by the way xx

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  2. Oh yeah! I'm going to try this. Lou x

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  3. I've been too unorganised this year and missed them. Do you know of any good recipes using the berries - perhaps I can make up for it in Autumn?! Lovely blog, I do enjoy visiting here.

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    1. Hi Alice, thank you for such lovely words. Everything is flowering so late here at the moment! I made a hedgerow jam last year with elder berries, apples and blackberries, it must have been good as it won an award in the village show! Emma x

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  4. Gorgeous post Emma. I made elderflower champagne last year and left it in the corner of the kitchen. A couple of weeks later I was just fearing it wouldn't have any bubbles when a bottle popped open. I had a very sticky kitchen but the remaining bottles were very lovely, chilled on a summer day.

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  5. Ah, I wish I had seen this earlier and made it but now the flowers are just going over. Didn't make any cordial either which I am now regretting.... next year!

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