- Dried elderflowers are a useful all year round alternative to the fresh flower heads, which are usually only in bloom in late spring early summer i.e. May and June
- Traditionally used in making sparkling champagne style wines, as well as delicious white wines and cordials, elderflowers are now becoming more popular as a flavouring in a variety of soft drinks. They can also be used as an addition to wine making kits of any white variety and will add a hint of flavour and improve the bouquet
- Vinclasse dried elderflowers originate in Bulgaria, where they are picked, evenly dried using dehumidifiers and the stems removed
Elderflower Champagne With Dried Flowers
50g Dried Elderflowers
1kg White Sugar (for 11% ABV) or 700g (for 7.5% ABV)
Lemon Juice & Zest From 3 Unwaxed Lemons
1 Sachet of Champagne Yeast
1 Tsp. of Yeast Nutrient
1 gallon (4.55L) of Tap Water, or better still, Mineral Water
Boil 2.55L water in a stainless steel or enamelled saucepan and pour over the Elderflowers in a sterilised 10L plastic bucket.
Boil a further 2L of water and dissolve 1 kg of sugar and add to the elderflower mix along with the lemon juice and zest.
Leave to cool between 18-24C, add the Yeast and Yeast Nutrient and gently stir.
Take a Hydrometer reading and note it down, to calculate the alcohol content later.
Cover with a lid and airlock and let it ferment for approx 5 days at around 20 - 22C.
Strain the contents with a fine straining bag into another bucket or demijohn and leave for 4-5 days. Check the gravity again which should be around 1004-6 for bottling into swing top bottles or slightly higher if using pet plastic bottles, no need to prime the bottles with sugar but keep an eye on the amount of fizz created over the next two weeks, letting off surplus pressure by gently raising the caps to reduce the risk of exploding bottles!
Store in a cool place. After a few weeks the contents will clear, open with caution and pour in one go into wine glasses or a larger jug so as not to disturb the sediment.
Or . . . . . an alcohol free delight, try this
350g White Sugar
330ml Boiling Water
2 Zested & Sliced Wax Free Lemons
10g Citric Acid
50g Dried Elderflowers
Dissolve the sugar in the boiling water and let cool to 18C - 22C.
Add the citric acid, the lemon zest, lemon slices and elderflowers.
Stir the mixture and then cover using cling film. Steep the mixture in the fridge for 48 hours, then strain with a small, fine Nylon Straining bag or Muslin Bag. Pour into sterilised bottle.
Place the Elderflower Cordial in the fridge and use within 2 weeks.
Dilute to taste and serve with ice and lemon.