Summer booze – elderfower champagne

I’ve posted about making sloe gin in the autumn – now it’s time for some summer booze.

Even better, this time I am actually creating alcohol, not just flavouring it.

Elderflower tree

Go pick your elderflowers

I am using this recipe from Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on Channel 4. All recipes are a bit vague, as “a head” of flowers could be very variable. Get some flowers and some lemon and some sugar and some water. I found that I did have to add some real yeast. The mixture wasn’t really “bubbling” at any point, but when I lifted the lid it smelled like something was going on.

This looks yuck, but don't worry

This looks yuck, but don’t worry

We left the elderflower soup in the bucket for a bit over a week, then filtered through a fine sieve and put into bottles. My father in law once broke a shed window with exploding elderflower, so do make sure to use bottles that can withstand some pressure.

Lemonade bottle are good because they expect to be under pressure

Lemonade bottle are good because they expect to be under pressure

A week or so later and this is what you get.

Check out my Aspalls glass

Check out my Aspalls glass

I find the taste quite odd at first, because it smells of elderflower but is not sweet – that’s how you can tell it has worked – the sugar has turned into fizz and alcohol.

I have no idea how alcoholic this stuff is, but it definitely feels like there is something there.

Actually I am also doing some flavouring – making some raspberry vodka with raspberries (get the orange-stickered “help, these are about to turn to mush” fresh ones) with sugar and cheapy vodka.

We can use this to make nice "kir pleb"

We can use this to make nice “kir pleb”

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