Elderflower Champagne

Elderflower Champagne

Each year will wait with eager anticipation for the Elderflowers to bloom.  For me these wonderful fragrant flowers mark the beginning of summer and making the  most of them is a family affair.  The kids love to make cordial - one especial likes some in some ice tea.  For me I like the tiny bubbles of elderflower champagne.  Drink it cold as a perfect summer cooler, use it to make cocktails or make it into a jelly with fresh flowers suspended inside as a posh adult jelly.

One word of warning it is fizzy!  Use plastic bottles for fizzy drinks or champagne quality glass bottles - you don't want the bottles exploding!  Chill well before opening to limit the over fizz.

The flowers are best picked on a warm sunny day when their fragrance is at its best.  Pick and make as soon as possible.  Choose flowers that are at their prime and not turning brown at all.

Ingredients

  • 5l water
  • 1/2 dozen heads of flowers (shake gently upside down to remove any little critters)
  • 740g sugar
  • 2 tbs apple cider vinegar
  • 2 lemons cut into slices

Directions

  1. sterilize a pot or bucket that can hold 4l and also your bottles so they are ready.  Once the bottles are dry put the tops on until ready for bottling.
  2. place the flower heads and lemons into your pan and pour over the water.
  3. Cover your pan with a lid of tea towel, leave for 24 hours
  4. strain the liquid through a muslin lined colander and then pour back into your bucket.
  5. add in the sugar and vinegar.
  6. Pour into your bottles and put the tops on but don't screw on tight
  7. Leave the bottles aside for a couple of days and check every now and the for tiny bubbles appearing - now we are making elderflower champagne!
  8. Leave for one week, when the bubbles slowed right down screw the caps tight.
  9. Leave about another week for it to get fizzy.  I recommend you give the bottles a squeeze every now and then to check how firm they have become.  Once firm - chill.  Or store somewhere cool.

The longer you leave it the dryer it gets but it is best drunk with in the first couple of months.

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Preserved Eatery and Cook School, Market stall, Preserved Eat

2i Waipapa Avenue
Diamond Harbour
Christchurch

03 3294 465