If you like me have been put off making elderflower champagne due to hearing horror stories of exploding glass bottles then this elderflower bubbles recipe is the one for you. It took me a few years after I started foraging extensively to broach the gap between Elderflower Cordial to Elderflower Fizz.
This super simple recipe hasn’t got wrong for me yet, after more than 10 years of making it. There have been no sticky explosions across the kitchen, or scary moulds growing in the cupboard.
This recipe has a low alcohol content, and therefore is more bubbles than fizz, this is due to the relatively small amount of yeast added by the relatively few elderflower heads. It does mean its super safe to do in your kitchen. And also takes very little actual preparation time.
Served chilled our elderflower bubbles is a perfect companion for curling up in a hammock with a good book in the sunshine.
In fact this recipe came to me via a friend from a baptist minister who had convinced himself that it was alcohol free. The bubbles will tell you this is NOT the case
Elderflower bubbles recipe
Prep Time 45 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Brewing time 1 day
Makes about 5 Litres
5 litres of Clean Bottles that can take pressure – Old Sparking water or lemonade bottles are ideal.
6 Heads Elderflowers
1.5 Pounds Sugar white
2 Tbsp Cider vinegar
1 Lemon zest and juice
4.5 litres Water
1: Pick your elderflowers – give them a sniff test, some smell sweet and summery – others like cats wee. Leave the latter ones for elderberries later in the year. Don’t pick a tree bare. But with only 6 heads you should be able to gather this all from a good smelling tree without making much impact. Do check out our blog on foraging and the law here.
2: Leave them out for a short while in the shade for the creatures inhabiting them to escape.
3: Cut off the majority of the stems, leaving just the flowers. The wood and the leaves of elder contain trace elements of cyanide that is best avoided.
4: Add the water and sugar together, stir well to dissolve the sugar.
5: Add all the other ingredients. Stir well.
6: Leave for 24 hours covered with a muslin, outside in a cool slightly breezy space. This will help it collect more wild yeasts.
7: Strain though a muslin.
8 : Bottle into bottles that are designed to take some pressure. – Fizzy drinks bottles are ideal.
8: Leave in a cool dark place for two weeks.
9: Enjoy chilled in the sunshine!
This post was written by guest blogger Lizzy. Lizzy runs Pippin & Gile and offers fantastic in depth bushcraft and foraging courses in South London and Mid-wales.