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Angela’s recipe for elderflower champagne

photo of elderflowers and leaves

elderflowers and leaves

Elderflower champagne is easy to make. There are thousands of recipes for this summer drink so how were we going to find a really good one?

I had a sniff about on the Internet and chose High Fearnley Whittingstall’s recipe which you can see here. I wanted another recipe to compare it with so I decided to try Angela’s recipe which she posted in the comments on my recent roundup of elderflower recipes.

Although the bottles of champagne have only been standing for a few days I couldn’t resist sampling the two batches. Angela’s recipe won hands down, sorry Hugh! With immense anticipation, I took a couple of glasses up to The Rat Room for Danny to undertake a blind tasting.
“This is the winner for me. It has a wonderful bouquet and rounder flavour.”
It was Angela’s champagne that he was sampling. I can’t wait to taste it in ten days time, when it will be even better.

Angela has generously allowed me to share her wonderful recipe with you. Elderflowers are still blooming well around here so you might have the chance to make some yourself this summer. Bob Quail, another reader, mentioned that you can freeze elderflowers to make cordial or champagne later in the year.

The longer that you leave the champagne the drier and more alcoholic it will become. Weh hey!

Remember to only pick flowers with snowy white petals – brown petals can ruin elderflower recipes.

Angela’s recipe for elderflower champagne
Prep time: 20 mins
Total time: 20 mins

1. Pick the Elderflowers before 11 am, very important !!!!! After 11 am the scent is faintly….. eau de cat pee

2. Use plastic bottles, when you decant, preferably ones that have contained fizzy drinks, as they are well used to ‘gas’ inside them, and will not explode.

3.Stir the mixture 3 times a day, at least

4. After 3 or 4 days, or even 5 or 6, depending on the weather, you will see and hear fizz on top of the mixture !! Now bottle. Do not bottle before this, or your efforts will all have been futile!

5. LEAVE A SPACE at the top, of the bottle, for air. Good Luck……… and don’t forget to ‘Ask’ your Elder Flower Tree permission to take her flowers !!!!

Ingredients
  • 10 Elderflower heads ( side plate size)-I didn’t bother to remove the stalks
  • 5 litres Spring or Well Water
  • Juice of half Lemon
  • 125 mls Cider Vinegar
  • 600 g Sugar – I used white granulated sugar
  • you may need a tiny pinch of dried bread yeast
Instructions
  1. This is what I did
  2. Fill a giant nonreactive saucepan with 5 litres of cold tap water and leave it for 24 hrs get rid of the chlorine. Or boil the water to get rid of the chlorine.
  3. Heat two litres of the water and add the sugar – stir until it’s dissolved
  4. Add the rest of the water and leave to cool until barely warm
  5. Add the elderflower heads, lemon juice, cider vinegar and cover the saucepan with a clean tea towel to keep out the flies
  6. Stir several times a day.
  7. On day six there didn’t seem to be much fermentation going on so I added a small pinch of dry bread yeast. Thinks were bubbling on day 7 so I bottled the champagne in plastic PET fizzy water bottles leaving a 3 inches (6 cm) space at the top.
  8. Every morning and evening release the build up of gas from the bottles.
  9. Leave for at least two weeks. Then chill and serve.

 


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5 Comments

  1. Eric Robinson

    This is just how I make mine, except for the cider vinegar (good idea) and the added yeast. Watch the bottles swelling over the coming days. Elderflowers come earlier here in Andalucia (3000ft up in the mountains) so I’m now (droolingly) anticipating the berries for elderberry pies. One of my favourite trees is the elder. (I have to wonder how long your 5 litres will last??? Be firm).

  2. thinking of the days

    well this is one recipe I shall definitely try….thank you ANgela and Fiona!

  3. Raenbow

    Great recipe and te same as mine ( again without the vinegar, will try that too)Take care with the yeast and don’t be too quick to add, last years batch ( which I was impatient to get fizzing and therefore tasting!) Was a little TOO gassy!! I still have to release the gas once a week as the bottles get rock hard, but I only have 3 left!!(:

  4. Lya Haveman

    You say: “Every morning and evening release the build up of gas from the bottles; leave for at least 2 weeks”
    Do you release the gas for the whole 2 weeks?
    I am keen to try this one! :-)

  5. Angela Connolly

    Hi Fiona, I,ts Elderflower Champagne time again ! Just to let you know, that the flower heads are very abundant this year, and the heads are really large, its wonderful.
    When you printed out my recipe, I was delighted, Thankyou.
    Its slightly different to how I make it, for instance I dont add any yeast at all, the flowers have their own pollen when picked on a sunny dry day, and this is the ‘yeast’
    Also, I really do not bother , at all, to ‘let out gas’ from the bottles. I dont go near them until I want to drink,! Then I pop the bottle into the fridge for 2 hours before opening (carefully) as this drink needs to be really chilled for max taste. I have had no problem with storing and opening the bottles, only just open gently letting out a little of the ‘fizzz’ at a time,.
    Happy Elderflower picking, to you….hope this has been helpful
    Kind Regards Angela

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