I've been off the radar for a bit as I've been working, planning and frantically thrifting for series 3 of Superscrimpers!
So on i go....... I love love love Elderflower, i love to drink it, eat it, sniff it, id roll in the stuff if i could, i simply cant get enough of those little white flowers for the short little snippet of the year it gifts us with its sickly sweet pong!
Ive been heckled to put up this recipe that my family and i use for THE most beautiful Elderflower Champagne........I know i know all the flowers have now gone...although if you are a true Elderholic like me you would have frozen some flowers to capture everlasting gloriousness of those little scrumptious blooms! SO..... please print off this page and keep it safe until next June, as soon as June hits, go out following your nose, sniffing the air for a sweet tea smell that makes your nostrils fizz when you shove your hooter into your newly found Elderflower bush THEN DON'T TELL A SOUL.....THAT SHRUB IS ALL YOURS! (well as long as it is actually on land that you have permission to pick from....if you get the nod, scrump away!)
This recipe makes about 4 litres, I'd suggest either using plastic screw top bottles (and let out some gas now and then) or those glass pop top bottles, and i always suggest keeping these outside or in the shed, while they are fermenting the can get a little excited and POP...i keep mine under the garden table...
4 litres hot water
Juice and zest of four lemons
2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
About 15 elderflower heads, in full bloom
A pinch of dried yeast (you may not need any but i always have had to use it)
What you do
* Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (i use my sons toy bucket after its had a swish of fairy liquid)and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.
* Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.
* Cover with clean muslin (I use old shiny clean muslin squares from when children where babies) and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days.
* After a couple of days have a peep 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 another four days.
* Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with the muslin and decant into sterilised bottles
* Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for at least a week before serving, chilled. The champagne should keep in the bottles for several months and gets better by the week. don't forget DO NOT to store it in the house...a sticky champagne mess after one has popped is not a nice thing to be cleaning up.
If you cant wait until next year, pop over mine, i have 26 litres of champagne bubbles ready for the ice!