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Homemade Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Making elderflower champagne is something we’ve done most years since I remember. At my family home in the countryside we’re lucky enough that we have elderflower trees in our garden and so it couldn’t be easier for us to go foraging for blooms.

For most people though a simple walk in the countryside from late May through to July is likely to find you an elderflower tree or two. Best picked on a sunny morning when the blooms are at their freshest, I recommend picking as many as 25-30 full creamy blooms.

Deliciously Simple Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Remember to shake them free of any insects before bringing them into your home!

Deliciously Simple Elderflower Champagne Recipe

With the flowers you can make elderflower tea, cordial, wine or liqueur and there are plenty of recipes out there for you to try! But we’ve been using the same recipe every year to make a deliciously simple elderflower champagne and I thoroughly recommend.

What I love most with this recipe is that it makes a refreshing drink to last you all the way through summer and into autumn. Often, we’ll try to save at least one bottle to enjoy on Christmas Day!

Deliciously Simple Elderflower Champagne Recipe

You will need:

  • 25-30 elderflower blooms
  • 3 lemons
  • 675g sugar
  • 5 litres water (1 litre boiling, 4 litres cold)
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • 1 sachet citric acid (5 grams)
  • 6 glass screw top bottles 

Method:

1. Put the flowers and sugar into a large saucepan (or bucket) – it needs to be big enough to fit 5l water!

2. Add 1 litre of boiling water to dissolve the sugar and stir.

3. Add a further 4 litres of cold water.

4. Squeeze out the lemon juice, then quarter them. Add the juice and skins to the saucepan.

5. Add the white wine vinegar and and citric acid.

6. Leave for 24 hours, covered with a tea towel. Stir occasionally.

7. Strain through muslin into sterilised screw top bottles (easiest when done through funnels).

8. Leave a gap of 1″ at least in case of expansion.

It’ll be ready in 2-3 weeks so be patient and then enjoy with sparkling water, ice and fresh ginger peel to cool down on a warm summer’s evening.

Although the season has now passed I hope you’ll save this one for next year – I promise it’s worth it!

Although we have always referred to this drink as a champagne, it is isn’t really alcoholic at all because the boiling water kills any naturally occurring yeasts in the flowers. The recipe below is therefore for those of you that do want to try an alcoholic variety – be careful though as the bottles can explode!

You will need:

  • 15 elderflower blooms
  • 3 lemons
  • 800g sugar
  • 5 litres water (2 litres boiling, 3 litres cold)
  • 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
  • 6 glass screw top bottles 

Method:

1. Put the sugar into a large saucepan (or bucket) – it needs to be big enough to fit 5l water!

2. Add 2 litres of boiling water to dissolve the sugar and stir.

3. Then a further 3 litres of cold water to cool it down.

4. Squeeze out the lemon juice – add the juice and zest to the saucepan.

5. Add the elderflower blooms and give it a gentle stir before adding the white wine vinegar and stir again.

6. Leave for 2-3 days covered with a tea towel to ferment. Stir occasionally.

7. If there’s no sign of fermentation after 1-2 days (you should see bubbles at the surface) then you can add a champagne yeast at this point.

7. Strain through muslin into sterilised screw top bottles (easiest when done through funnels).

8. Leave a gap of 1″ at least to allow for expansion.

4 Comments

  1. Han says

    Hi! I’m planning on making your elderflower champagne soon as it sounds so lovely but have two questions. I can’t find sachets of citric acid, so would need to buy the ‘loose’ stuff, how many grams are in a sachet? Also have you got any idea what % alcohol the champagne is?
    Thank you πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello! I’m so glad that you’re planning to try this – it’s so delicious and I can’t wait to make some soon myself. The citric acid isn’t necessary if you can’t find it (it acts as a preservative to help the elderflower champagne last longer) but if you are able to find loose powder then I would aim to use 5 grams citric acid powder. Even though it’s called elderflower champagne this recipe isn’t actually alcoholic because I haven’t added any yeast and the boiling water kills the naturally occurring yeasts on the flowers meaning that fermentation won’t happen. Hope that helps!!

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      • Han says

        Thank you so so much for your reply! I really appreciate it! Ironically, I very rarely drink but I am quite intrigued by how to make this alcoholic. Any idea how to do this? Would I just need to add a sachet of champagne yeast? Regardless, thanks and I’m looking forward to making this soon!

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        • No problem! We actually tried a new recipe this year to make the champagne alcoholic and it has worked so well that I have included it in the blog post above as an alternative recipe! Some of the quantities do change which is important to note but the main difference between the two is that you add the flowers after the water has cooled down to avoid the boiling water from killing the natural yeasts. If after 1-2 days you can’t see fermentation happening then you can add a sachet of yeast yes πŸ™‚

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