Bottles are prepared to make elderflower champagne from the wonderful River Cottage. I can't wait for the blooms so that we can try this recipe. Elderflowers grow in the wild in abundance here.
Makes 24 bottles
About 24-30 elderflower heads, in full bloom
4 litres hot water
Juice and zest of four lemons
1-2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
A pinch of dried yeast (you may not need this)
Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (a spotlessly clean bucket is good) and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water to 6 litres. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently. Cover with clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, and if it’s not becoming a little foamy and obviously beginning to ferment, add a pinch of yeast.
Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further four days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised glass bottles. Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for a further eight days before serving, chilled.