There are few drinks that taste better on a warm summers evening than the sweet, refreshing fizzing floral scents of Elderflower champagne. The hedgerows are abundance of foragers delights during spring and summer and early June is the time to collect your elderflower sprays, just 20 will make around 5.5 litres of aromatic fizz. For our easy 5 step recipe to the perfect picnic accompaniment keep reading below.
- 4.5 litres warm water
- 700g caster sugar
- 1.5 litres of cold water
- 20 elderflower sprays
- 2 lemons – juice and zest
- 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar
- Possibly dried brewers yeast
- New or used plastic lemonade/tonic water/fizzy drinks bottles
You need a large plastic container, I use a wide mouthed fermenting tank from a brewers shop. Fill it with 4.5 litres of warm water, pop in your 700g sugar and stir until dissolved. Top up with 1.5 litres of cold water.
Add 20 elderflower sprays (washed, be careful as you don’t want to lose that musty pollen), the lemons and white wine vinegar – give it a stir! Pop some clean muslin over the top.
Check the mixture after two days, if you see no sign of fermentation then add a pinch of dried brewers yeast. Leave the mixture for up to a week.
Strain the liquid off, bottle in plastic lemonade, tonic water or any bottle designed for fizzy drinks. Avoid glass in case you do get an explosion. Store in the garage or utility, somewhere that you can check the bottles every other day and release any built up gas by opening the bottle to a ‘fizz’, perfect.
After at least a week, the champagne is ready to drink. Just the perfect taste to accompany a barbecue in the summer sunshine or a picnic in the English countryside.