It isn't often that in the middle of working on getting an issue put to bed for the printer that something in an article makes us stop in our tracks and try it. Marita Orr from With Seeds of Intention sent us just such a project inside an article full of wonderful summer beverage recipes. The elderflowers are just starting to bloom, and so I asked her if we could publish the recipe separately so folks wouldn't miss their chance to make it this year.
I started on it right away!
We had everything necessary in the cupboard. We had Bragg's vinegar, and I have a feeling that vinegar with the mother is where the fizz comes from, but wild yeast in the air probably is part of it too. Here's the recipe:
ELDER FLOWER CHAMPAGNE
7 large heads of elder blossoms
1 pound of white sugar, no substitutes!!
2 large or 3 small organic lemons/oranges
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 gallon water
4 liter-sized wine or champagne bottles and corks
Dissolve sugar in 1 quart of boiling water. Add rest of water. Slice lemons very thinly and add to water/sugar.
Add vinegar and mix well.
|I used the removable crock from a 2 gallon oblong crockpot.|
Place elder flowers head down in a crock, large glass bowl, or non-metal pot. Pour liquid mixture over flower heads. Cover with a kitchen towel held in place with a rubber band. After 24 hours, strain through a fine cloth (I use a clean cotton diaper), bottle, and cork.
|So pretty it looked ready to drink immediately!|
Mature your Elder Flower Champagne in the dark for three or more weeks. It will be naturally fizzy when ready to drink, so watch out when you pop the cork!
|After 24 hours, most of the elderflowers are a little browned. It tastes very good (sweet).|
|Because I can't follow directions very well, I was COMPELLED to ad a slice of lemon and a bit of elderflower. I also used Mason jars. It remains to be seen how that will work. I'm highly optimistic - as always.|