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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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13 Comments

  1. Amanda Berrisford

    Hi I feel a twit to ask this but I have followed the recipe and method but after 5 days nothing was happening so I risked leaving the brew for 5 days more whilst I went on a short break. I have returned to a Brew with a head of Mould on the top …. My fellow forager says that’s how it goes and will be fine to bottle …. What do you think?

    • Skim off the mouldy head and taste the liquid underneath- if it tastes okay, ie not vinegary then should be fine. This is after experience of it being fine, and really unpleasant!

    • Angela Connolly

      Hello Amanda, It should be ok , give it a good stir around, to disperse the yeast that has settled on top, then bottle it….if it smells Ok that is a good indicator..if it has actually gone ‘green’ mouldy throw it away.

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