Elderflowers

We have elderflowers growing in the garden – I recognised the elderberries at the back end of last season, and thought I should look out for the flowers. I see them every (ahem) morning when I open the bedroom curtains – they’re the white specs in the middle of this photo.

Seeing that Manda had made elderflower champagne – she’s written about it here, and has a recipe here. At first I thought that elderflower champagne was going to be a little complicated, what with finding suitable bottles, so resolved to make elderflower cordial instead, following this recipe.

The recipe sent me to Wilcos in search of citric acid, from their ever-smaller homebrew shelves, but while I was there, I saw they had a machine for putting crown caps on bottles. I’d assumed it would be complicated and expensive, but i fact it was under a fiver. Now the only thing standing in the way of making elderflower champagne is empty beer bottles, and I’m sure I’ll be able to manage to make some of those.

Home again to boil water, make sugar syrup, peel lemons, etc.

Elderflower cordial

The mix is steeping for 24 hours now, but already tastes fantastic. If you have seen any elderflowers growing anywhere near you, I urge you go and make this! It’s dead simple and tastes gorgeous. And so cheap compared to commercial elderflower cordials.
Now off to sterilize a bucket to make champagne too!

6 comments on “Elderflowers

  1. Manda says:

    If you’re going to crown cap I’d suggest you let the champagne ferment out a little in the bucket. That way some of the sugar will be used up before you bottle it. When you prime beer for bottle conditioning it’s about the equivalent of one teaspoon of sugar per bottle, more than that and you risk an explosion, so you can let the champagne fizzle away in the bucket for a couple of days.

    I could go on boringly about specific gravities and stuff but 1) I can’t remember the figures and 2) it’s much more fun to live in anticipation!

  2. niles says:

    Does filtering come into the recipe at some point?

    I’m sure I have a demijohn and an airlock, so maybe I should go with that. I seem to remember when you prime beer for bottling, you ferment it out the first time and add more sugar for the bottling stage.

  3. niles says:

    Oh dear – despite my best sterilizing efforts, the mix went mouldy long before four days, so I’ve ended up chucking it out. Bah.

  4. Bookbren says:

    Elderflower champagne can be made by 6 year olds and I have done it! Its really only Elderflower Fozz but lovely!
    2 handfuls of elderflowwers – no stalks or 4 if you are 6!
    Bucket of cold water
    1 chopped up lemon
    500gm of white sugar.
    Put in bucket & stir.
    Put on lid or tintray or cloth.
    Stir every time you pass.
    Next day strain through pillow case or very fine nylon sieve into rinsed plastic cola or lemonade bottles and screw on lids.
    Leave for 1 week.
    Pour and enjoy.
    My little ones like to put blackcurrant juice in glass before adding fizz.#Honest I make this every year with my kids and it goes evry time.

  5. […] doing anything about it until it was too late, which is a massive shame because the year before, we made our own elderflower cordial and it was […]

  6. […] a whole bunch of essentially hedgerow like plants growing in the garden. We’ve been making elderflower cordial for a few years. I’ve had a couple of goes at elderflower champagne as well but it always […]

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