Smallholders Insurance from Greenlands

Author Topic: Elderflower Champagne  (Read 9780 times)


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Stirling
Elderflower Champagne
« on: May 13, 2009, 03:47:30 pm »
OK thats the nettle beer fermenting now.  Anyone got and good tips/recipes for Elderflower Champagne?




  • Joined Apr 2009
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #1 on: May 14, 2009, 11:19:10 am »
Found this - let us know how it goes (fancy having a bash at making some beverages myself ;))

Elderflower champagne is a clear, sparkling drink that is mildly alcoholic. It is easy to prepare and only takes two weeks to mature. As the name suggests, one of the primary ingredients are the white flowers of the Elder tree1. These trees are quite common in the UK, and if there aren't any in your garden, they are often found around car parks, squares, schools and other open spaces. Make sure that you get the right tree though! The trees themselves are coarse and shrubby, with large flat heads of creamy white flowers in early summer and clusters of reddish-purple berries in the autumn.



This makes about 10 litres of elderflower champagne:

    * 4 large heads of elder flowers - make sure that they are fully open, preferably facing the Sun
    * 1kg of sugar
    * 2 lemons
    * 4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
    * 10 litres of cold water


    * A ten-litre vessel - a large plastic bucket is ideal. Ensure that it is well washed out and preferably sterilised.
    * Strong bottles - these need to withstand the pressure of the carbon dioxide gas produced. Two-litre plastic drinks bottles work, but old screw-cap glass bottles work better and don't let as much gas escape.
    * A large jug - about two litres in capacity.
    * A small jug - ideally, this should hold about 750ml and is to act as a bailer.
    * A lemon-squeezer
    * A funnel
    * A potato-peeler
    * A tablespoon
    * A sieve
    * A strainer


    * Preparation Time: 30 minutes
    * Standing Time: 24 hours
    * Maturing Time: two weeks plus



      Wash the lemons and use the potato-peeler to peel the lemon rind off as thinly as possible. Remove any insects, leaves or other unwanted objects from the elder flowers.

      Squeeze the lemons and put the juice into the ten-litre vessel along with the lemon rind and flowers.

      Add the sugar and the wine vinegar. Be careful not to crush the flower heads too much with the sugar.

      Pour on the water. Put a lid or cover over the top of the vessel and leave to stand for 24 hours. Stir gently every six hours.

      Sterilise the bottles either using sterilising chemical tablets or boiling water. If you use chemical tablets, rinse the bottles afterwards so that the chemicals don't kill the yeast in the champagne mixture.

      Take the lid off the vessel and remove any large flower heads or bits of rind.

      Use the small jug to bail some of the mixture through the sieve and into the large jug. When the large jug becomes full, place the funnel in the top of a bottle. Pour the mixture through the strainer into the funnel.

      Once all the bottles are full, put the caps (or corks) on firmly and place somewhere not too warm or too cold. A garage shelf is ideal.

After two weeks the champagne is ready for drinking. However, the taste does improve with time and can be left for up to two years2. It is probably best to leave it for six months to a year to mature, as this means the full taste will have developed, yet without any fizz escaping. (That's assuming the caps have been done up properly.) Try to make as much as possible during the months of June and early July as this is when the flowers will be at their best. Typically, 20 litres should provide ample supply for a year's worth of drinking for a family of four.

A more potent elderberry wine can be made using the berries of the elder tree. This can be made in the autumn and is lovely to drink in the winter. Also, elderberry marmalade can be made from the berries.

Further Reading

    * Hangover Cures - If you drink too much of the champagne, this might prove useful.

    1 The Latin name for the Elder tree is Sambucus nigra.
    2 That's the longest period of time tried by this Researcher.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Leafy Surrey
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #2 on: May 26, 2009, 04:56:33 pm »
I am going to be collecting elderflower this weekend for the same.  Just discussing with my neighbour who clearly has the same recipe.  Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall's recipe ( uses a LOT more elderflowers though.  I was really surprised to see the differing quantities.  Would be interested to hear how yours goes and we'll compare notes!


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Leafy Surrey
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2009, 06:11:22 pm »
I have just opened a bottle of my elderflower champagne (Hughs recipe) and it is way too sweet for my liking, so I will also try your recipe, but I may add more elderflowers as I love the taste!  By the way - the champagne was really, really, really explosive! :o


  • Joined Jun 2009
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #4 on: June 19, 2009, 11:19:08 am »
So exited about finding this!  We've got loads of elderflowers at the moment.  ;D


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Derbyshire
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #5 on: June 20, 2009, 09:38:55 pm »
I think we may give this a go.  Does anyone have a recipe for Elderberry Wine?  I made some lovely Elderberry jam a few years ago - delicious but a bit runny!


  • Guest
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #6 on: June 20, 2009, 11:23:46 pm »
I wel ove Elderfloer drinks and when w take the dogs out there seems to be loads this year, so, I need to have all the stuff and then get going, I shalllook up the recipes and hopefullymake soe, also looking forward to making Nettle Beer, I am always collecting food for free and really enjoy commng home with my "shopping" fingers crossed, I will have a go.


  • Joined May 2009
  • Gainsborough
    • Zabalaz Siberian Huskies
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2009, 07:44:16 pm »
just opened our first bottle of elderflower champagne, its a real summer drink, very sweet. i understand why the bottles have to be strong now.
well only 6 litres to go so not sure when i will be back.
bye for now
kn ;D ;D :yum:

Tullywood Farm

  • Guest
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #8 on: July 05, 2009, 12:26:38 pm »
Re Elderflower Champagne

The recipe here is good, I make this every year, but beware of using more Elderflowers than necessary, as, the bottles explode whilst maturing as it is too fizzy.

I use less sugar and more lemons, and keep it to drink or give as gifts At Christmas - its more alcoholic then, and less sweet, just like Cava.

TIP - Use screw top wine bottles, as the Ame or smaller screw top bottles tend to pop, I store mine upright and put tape around, as I don't want a sticky mess to clean up if 50 bottles explode again.


  • Joined Oct 2007
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #9 on: July 06, 2009, 08:58:18 am »
Thanks everyone for the inspiration. now i know what to make for my wifes 40th.


  • Joined Feb 2009
  • Stirling
Re: Elderflower Champagne
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2009, 08:05:28 am »
Just popped our first bottle - It is sooooo good.   A great summers day drink.  It does taste remarkably of lychees tho which I wasn't expecting. :)

Thanks again for the recipe!


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