I have made elderflower cordial every year for about the past five years now but until last year I have never had the courage to try making the champagne. I think I've always felt a bit nervous in case the bottles exploded, but then realised that I could use plastic bottles so gave it a go.
I had only tasted elderflower champagne once before and that was when I was ten years old and I went to tea with one of my friends who lived on a farm. I still have vivid memories of that tea, it was a glorious sunny day and her parents opened a bottle of home made elderflower champagne - it was gorgeous and I never forgot the wonderful taste. So, it was with great anticipation that I tried the first bottle of my own, it was fantastic every bit as good as I remembered - success!!!
For the past week or so I've kept promising myself that I will get out and collect elderflowers to make cordial and champagne with, but either I end up running out of time or the weather turns against me. Do you ever get the feeling you're running to catch up?
Last night I determined to get out for a beautiful evening stroll in the sunshine and to collect the elderflowers. The evening was beautiful and I thoroughly enjoyed my little walk, but best of all I collected enough elderflowers to make both ...
The cordial only takes 24 hours so had my first glass tonight - yum! The champagne has another 24 hours before bottling then 5-7 days in the bottle -can't wait.
20 heads of elderflowers (don't wash them just shake them gently to remove any insects)
2 oz citric acid
3 pints water
1 lemon sliced
Place sugar in a large bowl and pour over the boiling water, stir till the sugar dissolves. Add the other ingredients. Cover. Leave for 24 hours. Strain through sterilised muslin (just pour boiling water over it first) into sterilised bottles. You can make this without citric acid, but it won't keep too well, though it can be frozen.
6 heads of elderflowers
2tbsp white wine vinegar
4 1/2 litres of cold water
2 large lemons
Shake the flowers to remove any insects. Boil 1 litre of the water. Place the sugar in a large container and pour over the boiling water, stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cold water, the lemons, thinly sliced, the vinegar and the flowers. Mix well and cover. Leave for 48 hours. Strain carefully and pour into plastic screw top bottles. Should be ready after 1 week. check the bottles every day or so as you may need to release some of the fizz.