As threatened (sorry I mean promised) I am just putting up a post about Elderflower Champagne.
Initially I thought about putting up the recipe, and describing my adventures in making it, but… there are recipes galore, a quick google will give you more than you need and making Elderflower Champagne is a pretty poor adventure.
After saying that I think that I measure the arrival of summer by making Elderflower Champagne. This year I came across Hugh Fearnley- Whittingstall’s recipe which can be found here. I was attracted to it because it uses less sugar than my previous recipe, you rather expect Elderflower Champagne to be tooth rottenly sweet, one reason why it is served well chilled, but after a glass or two it gets a bit much, hopefully Hugh’s recipe will just take the edge of it.
Last years brew was very successful and was passed around friends and neighbours, our French friends where fascinated as the whole idea of Elderflower Champagne was a bit bizarre to them, but on a hot July/August day very welcome.
Elderflower Champagne is supposedly alcohol free, but this is not true, its just not very strong, in fact I think you would make yourself ill from a sugar overdose before the alcohol kicks in, mind you the effects on young children are entertaining and you can always put it down to a sugar reaction
In addition to the Elderflower Champagne I also made a batch of Elderflower Cordial which is due to be bottled tomorrow, the recipe for the cordial can be found here, it’s dead easy and you’ll save a fortune on the insipid poncy stuff sold in bijou green bottles. In fact the only problem is tracking down the Citric acid as many chemist refuse to stock it as Heroin users cook up with it. You could of course play up to this by wearing your scruffiest clothes, developing a sniff and asking for the Citric man. Alternatively you could just pop in to the home brew shop.
Elderflower cordial is far more versatile than Elderflower Champagne as it can be used as a cordial (natch) and to flavour mousses , fruits and jellies etc. and most importantly as an addition to Gin and Tonic. It does not how ever look as spectacular as a glass of foaming champagne. Years ago when I was living in Bristol, England I fetched a 2 litre bottle bottle of Elderflower Champagne that was in an old Coke bottle. I was standing in the middle of the kitchen when it duly exploded, I was fine, the bottle was plastic after all, but two litres of champagne was instantly sprayed all around the kitchen, in a real life reenactment of a cartoon scene.
So there you are Elderflower Champagne handle with care but not because of the alcohol!