Elder trees are in plentiful supply around our way and just outside my back gate the trees were in full bloom just a few weeks ago. The best time to pick elderflowers is on a dry, sunny day...hmmm, not many of those this year what with it being the wettest English summer on record!! However, there have been a few 'windows of opportunity' and as a result I now have two demijohns of hooch merrily bubbling away...should be ready for bottling in a couple of months!
So here's the recipe:
1 pint of elderflowers - about a supermarket bagful of flower heads
4.5 litres of water
1 campden tablet
1/3 cup of strong tea
1 sachet of wine yeast
- Separate the flowers from their stalks by pulling through with a fork and measure into a jug until you have a pint full of flowers - add this to a clean bowl or bucket
- Add the rind of 2 lemons
- Pour over 4.5 litres of boiling water and allow to cool
- Add one crushed campden tablet
- Cover with a clean cloth and leave to stand for 3 days - stirring daily
- Add sugar and juice from 2 lemons, 1/3 cup of strong tea & sachet of yeast
- Make sure all sugar is dissolved.
- Strain into a bowl and then pour into a demijohn
- Add an airlock and watch it bubble away for about 8 weeks
- Once it stops fermenting and starts to clear add a crushed campden tablet
- Leave for 24 hours and then syphon off into sterilized bottles
Check back in a couple of months to see how it's doing!!!!