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.
Remember to shake them free of any insects before bringing them into your home!
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!
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
- 6 glass screw top bottles
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 screw top bottles (easiest when done through funnels).
8. Leave a gap of 1″ at least to allow for 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!