fermenting

Sparkling elderflower wine

June 23, 2015 9:29 am Published by

Summer is finally here and what better way to celebrate than with this simple recipe for elderflower champagne!

I absolutely love this stuff, it’s quite low in alcohol and incredibly easy to drink, especially on a lovely summers day!

Making elderflower champagne is easy:-
– Go pick half a dozen full elderflower heads ideally on a sunny day when they are most fragrant.
– Half fill a clean bucket with 10 Litres-Dissolve 2lbs (1kg) of white sugar into the water
– Shake any debris and insects clear from the elderflower heads and immerse in the water
– Cut two lemons in half squeeze juice into water and throw in the squeezed halfs
– Add a splosh (4 tablespoons) of white wine vinegar
– Stir gently and cover with a clean tea towel
– Leave for 24 hours stirring occasionally

After 24 hours, sterilise plastic carbonated drinks bottles – 10 x 1 litre lemonade/pop bottles are ideal – and strain jugfuls of the liquor through a sieve or muslin cloth into the bottles and screw the plastic tops on gently to allow some of the excessive CO2 to escape while keeping other contaminants out.

Leave for a week while the naturally occurring yeast on the elderflower heads begins to ferment with the sugar creating a very weak alcohol content but lots of carbon dioxide – when the fermentation has begun you will see bubbles racing up to the top of the bottles. Eventually the bubbles will slow down.  This is then the time to firmly screw the tops on and leave to build up a little more fizz.

If stored in a cool place and the bottles remain in tact, elderflower champagne can be kept for over a year – until the flowers begin to appear again for the next batch.

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