STOP PRESS – Elderflower is out in the countryside hedgerows and this is the perfect time to pick it. There’s so much of it around, it’s fluffy white heads of darling little flowers will make tons of cordial or you could even try your hand at Elderflower wine. It’s a great weekend activity and fun to get children running around in the fresh air.
Elderflower cordial lasts for ages and is so delicious and easy to make, so why not try Elderflower Champagne? It looks easy enough, and well worth a try!
- 4 litres hot water
- 700g sugar
- juice and zest of 4 lemons
- 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
- 15 Elderflower heads, in full bloom
- Pinch of champagne yeast
- You will also need a large saucepan
How to prepare
Put the hot water and sugar into a large clean container and stir until the sugar dissolves. Top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.
Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.
Cover with a clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. If the brew is not beginning to gently bubble at this stage add a pinch of yeast. Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further 4 days.
Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised strong glass bottles with champagne stoppers. Another piece of advice – do not squeeze the bag to get out every last drop! Squeezing the bag adds unwanted sediment to the champagne.
A good deal of pressure can build up inside as the fermenting brew produces carbon dioxide. To avoid explosions, use strong bottles and strong seals. A really active mixture produces a lot of gas so do remember to let it off gently outside to prevent explosions!
If you feel like a trip to the country to collect your Elderflowers, we have some lovely holiday cottages in the UK to make it a real treat.
Poppy Cottage is surrounded by wonderful walks.
The Waves at Camber is just minutes from the beach and minutes from lovely country walks.
Yellowhammer in Sussex has wonderful hedgerows and a great kitchen for creating!
Birch Pavilion has the best of both worlds, just 10 minutes by car to Tunbridge Wells.
The Nook at Burford in the Cotswolds is surrounded by countryside.
If you want to have a chat with one of our team, just call 01227 464958 or email us and we will help you find your perfect countryside cottage for picking Elderflower heads.