I make no apologies for another Elder Flower post, you have to make the most of the harvest while it's available, so yep, today we made a start to a few litres of Elder Flower Champagne, incredibly simple to do and it's tastes absolutely divine, especially served ice cold on a hot summers day, be aware though, that this brew is alcoholic, so best not to drink any if you intend driving later in the day.
We use a very simple recipe and make little alterations to it as we go along, like today, we didn't have any whole lemons, so i substituted the Lemon slices for Orange instead, still works, it just gives a slightly different taste as you would expect.
The recipe we use is thus;
- 4 litres of water
- 625g of sugar
- 8-10 large elder flower heads
- 2 lemons (one sliced & one juiced)
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
Remove the flowers from the stalks, try to keep as many of the green stalks out of the mix as you can.
Place the sugar in a large bowl or clean bucket and add enough hot water to dissolve the sugar (1 litre is usually more than enough), make up balance of the 4 litres needed with cold water once the sugar has been dissolved. When the water is cool add the elder flowers, juice of one lemon and the slices of the other lemon (or orange as we used today), add the vinegar, cover the brew with a cloth and leave for 24 hours.
Once 24 hours has passed strain the liquid through a fine sieve or muslin cloth, squeeze the flowers as you go to extract the last possible bit of flavour and goodness from them, once this has been done, store the brew in sterilised screw top bottles for about 10-14 days, the Champers should be drunk within a month.
Any flower heads you have left can be stripped off and dried either in a dehydrator or low oven until they are completely dry, they can then be used to make a 'tea' that is really pretty good, especially for those with chest complaints, or store the dry flowers for use at a later date in fruit stews or pies.