Elderflower champagne. Part 1


This year I became obsessed with collecting elderflowers, I’m one of those who will never turn down free things! Also, it was an excuse to explore the local public footpaths and get my son and other half out in all weathers. I then had to find things to make with the elderflowers which are now filling my freezer! I’ve already made elderflower cordial and used this in a few things, the next creation is elderflower champagne. I am terrified of this exploding in it’s bottles though!

650g granulated sugar
1 lemon
6 elderflower heads
2tbsp white wine vinegar

1. Heat the sugar and water gently in a pan until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Leave this to cool.
2. Use a peeler to remove the zest of the lemon in large strips, put these and the juice from the lemon into a large bowl or bucket. Add the elderflower heads, vinegar, cooled sugar syrup and another 3.5 litres of water.
3. At this point I transferred into a demijohn as I don’t own a large enough container, apart from the bucket for our beer, but we didn’t want to cross the two over and add funny flavours! I didn’t add a bung, I just covered with a teatowel. If you have a different container, just cover with a teatoweel and leave for a couple of days. At this point it should be just starting to ferment, however it may take longer. Once it starts, leave for another 4 days.
4. Strain the mixture and bottle in recycled pop bottles. These can still explode, so need checking regularly and if they are starting to expland, simply release the gas and tighten the lid again.
5. This is drinkable after 2 weeks, however it improves if kept for a couple of months.



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