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Cab's Wild Food Page
Elderflower Champagne













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One of the defining drinks of the English summer
















Ingredients
 
5-6 Elderflower Heads
2 Lemons
1 Gallon of Water
2 tsp White Vinegar
1 1/2 lb Sugar
Yeast (optional)
 
Warm some of the water and dissolve the sugar in it. Pour the rest of the water, cold, onto the eldeflower heads. Squeeze the lemons in to the water, and put the remains of the lemons in on top. Add in the vinegar and the sugary water, and cover loosely with a towel or some plastic (I use a really big plastic bag on top of it). If you want to cheat (as I normally do) activate just a little wine yeast or champagne yeast and pour that in; a tiny bit will do. If you haven't got any you should probably still manage; the flower heads are normally covered in yeast, but it'll take longer to get going and once in a while the whole batch will fail.
 
Keep the mix out of sunlight but somewhere warmish, and in a few days it should start to get a slight fizz to it. Just a bit of sparkle. Transfer the liquid (a funnel helps here) to plastic pop bottles or beer bottles, and keep it in a dark place for maybe four or five days (less if you're lucky), letting the pressure off a little as it brews to avoid explosion (this is a very real risk!).
 
Chill thoroughly before serving, and enjoy a classic English beverage. Doesn't last well, and will spoil or explode if kept too long, but using a gallon of this up is never a problem!