I was always fascinated by this amazing recipe, but I never tried to make it.
Searching in the net I found that sometimes this is called “Elderflower Champagne”, sometimes “Elderflower Sekt” and sometimes “Elderflower sparkling Wine”.
Finally now that elderflower are ready I decided to prepare this fresh and low alcoholic sparkling beverage.
I found many recipes and many different methods of preparation. For this reason I had to make my choice:
- I used cold tap water (if you water has too much chlorine you should boil it first and then let cool down)
- I did not add vinegar; I added some citric acid instead.
- I did not add yeast. The fermentation comes form the wild yeast spores on the flowers! However some people use wine yeast, champagne yeast or baker’s yeast.
- Flowers were just in bloom and clean (no dust and no parasites). I did not wash them.
- Once I added only lemon juice and the second time lemon slices
- I gave more taste adding thinly slices ginger.
- Sugar / Water ratio: 1 kg sugar for every 10 linters water.
The result? Much better that imagined, it’s delicious and I have my stock to serve in special occasions!
I found it not too sweet, sparkling, fresh and aromatic. WOW next year I will do it again!
Note: I’ve posted this recipe 3 years ago, but as now elder flower are ready again, I would like to bring this suggestion again! Try this experiment and have fun!
- 20 -30 elderflower heads, dry and fully mature
- 10 liters cold water
- 1 kg sugar (may be increased to 1.4 kg)
- 2 lemons, juice or thin slices
- ginger, washed about 10-20 thin slices (optional)
- 1 tablespoon citric acid
- Pick up 20-30 elderflower heads; best on a sunny day when they are most fragrant.
- Half fill a clean bucket with 10 liters cold water
- Dissolve 1kg sugar and the citric acid into the water.
- Remove partially the stem of the elderflowers heads and add them to the flowers to the water.
- Slice lemons and ginger if used thinly and add them to the bucket.
- Stir gently and cover with a loose lid or with a clean tea towel.
- From now on stir occasionally (3-4 timer per day).
- After 2-3 days the drink should begin to produce bubbles witch bring the flowers to the top.
- Let ferment it until the speed of fermentation has slowed. You don’t want exploding bottles! At this point the liquid should taste dryer and less sweet.
- Strain the liquid and fill it into champagne-style bottles (with the appropriate little wire cage) or (not as pretty but much safer) use plastic bottlers of carbonated soft drinks as Coca Cola. Glass, swing-top lemonade bottles are not really man enough for the job. Don’t fill the bottle, leave 6-7 cm air from the top! I recommend releasing the accumulated gas every day until the production of gas is slower enough.
- In about 8 days it should be ready to drink best for several weeks to allow the fermentation to add fizz to the wine.
- Let decant the bottle in the fridge before serving. Be very careful opening the bottles.