15.6.10

Elderflower Champagne - Recipes

It is the small white or cream-coloured flowers that appear in late spring that are used to make this fizzy elderflower wine or as it is more commonly known as Elderflower Champagne. You are going to need some kit for this including a large and very clean container to mix and store the Champagne in its early stages as well as those pop top bottles that you can seal similar to those on Grolsch beer bottles or my favourite Olive Oil!

Ingredients
4 litres hot water
2 litres of cold water
750g sugar
Juice and zest of four unwaxed lemons
2 tbsp’s of good white wine vinegar
About 18 elderflower heads (completely open)
A small pinch of dried yeast

Start by checking your container is very clean, pour the hot water into it and add the sugar stirring until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total, stir again. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently. Now, cover the container with a clean muslin or a large tea towel (as long as it can seal the top completely) secure the cloth top and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a 6 days (the garage is great as long as you don’t keep the car in there or anything that might affect the champagne with its smell.

Quick note, check it after a couple of days and if there is no signs of fermentation add your pinch of yeast and stir (I used Bakers yeast although Champagne yeast is available).

Once 6 days has passed your mixture would have really begun to ferment and that sugar started to turn to the all important alcohol - you can tell by the odour and the fizz on the surface of the champagne. Strain the liquid through a fine sieve (making sure that nothing passes through it). Once you are sure your mix is completely filtered and clear pass it into the clean (sterilised) bottles and seal.

Like anything alcoholic it gets better with age, so please don’t drink it straight away. Why not leave it for a few weeks and then drink it. It will last for longer and if you wanted to or indeed had the will power to do, you could have a bottle or two left for Christmas morning too!

Do store it outside though as I hear that sometimes the bottles are prone to cracking and sometimes exploding because of the pressure... On that note good luck!!

Wild Food Home

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