Elderflower Champagne

Elderberry flower

Elderberry flower - Credit: Getty Images/iStockphoto

Enjoy the fruits of an early morning June harvest, says Judith Taylor, our voice of farming from Ludham.

On at least one day in the summer, if I know the forecast is set for a lovely sunny day, I get up at sunrise – around 4.30am and take the dogs for a long walk by the river. Apart from the bird song, including the cuckoo, it is incredibly peaceful and beautiful. The cows look at us as though we are completely bonkers!

It gives me a chance to pick some elderflowers for our annual elderflower champagne making session. Give it a go – it’s a truly magical start to the day – don’t forget your wellies, the grass will probably be soaking wet.

Elderflower champagne is really cheap and easy to make. To make one gallon you will need:

5-6 new, young heads of elderflowers

2 lemons, sliced

1 gallon of water

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750g Silver Spoon sugar

2 tbsp cider vinegar

Enough plastic fizzy drinks bottles to hold one gallon.

Put the elderflower heads, sliced lemon and water in a pan, cover and leave for 24 to 36 hours.

Strain through a cloth or fine sieve. Add the sugar and cider vinegar, and stir until the sugar has dissolved. Pour into the bottles. Put the lids on but do not tighten. After a few days you will notice little bubbles forming. The bubbles will stop after two to three weeks. Tighten the lids and place the bottles in a cool place.

After about a week the elderflower champagne is ready to enjoy. Just put a bottle in the fridge as you need it and serve with lemon slices and ice - refreshing and delicious.

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