Elderflower Champagne Recipe & Cordial

4 Simple Ingredients and you have elderflower champagne, what’s not to like.

4 Simple Ingredients and you have elderflower champagne, what's not to like. The core ingredient is free and the rest of the ingredients are store cupboard favourites!

Elderflower Champagne and Cordial.

I love nothing more than creating tasty things that I either find or grow in my garden. My elderflower champagne recipe is a triumph as far as that is concerned!

We are fortunate enough to have close on a dozen elder ‘trees’ in our garden. This time of year is the perfect time to turn them into a lightly fizzy, lightly alcoholic and gloriously refreshing summers afternoon or evening treat.

This elderflower champagne recipe uses no fancy brewing kit, just stuff you should have lying around the house. Either that or you can buy it from a supermarket or DIY store for next to no money.

In fact, this recipe involves just 4 simple ingredients, there should be enough natural yeast in the elderflower to get the fermentation happening.

Wild ingredients hold some special place in my heart. I have no idea where they come from and they take no effort to look after.

Given the amount of work that goes into our cultivated crops these things really are Mother Natures marvels.

I wish I was better at using them though. There can be no better feeling than heading into your garden or a local park and coming home with some beautiful ingredients to turn into something tasty.

4 Simple Ingredients and you have elderflower champagne, what's not to like. The core ingredient is free and the rest of the ingredients are store cupboard favourites!

What Does Elderflower Taste Like?

If you have never tried elderflower you are in for a treat. I have added a simple elderflower cordial recipe too for those of you who want something a little simpler to try out the flavour.

The flavour of elderflower is completely unique. For me right up there with strawberries as the very essence of early summer flavours. Which is why this elderflower panna cotta with strawberries works so well!

They are unmistakably floral and remind me in many ways of Floral Gums. A hard jelly type sweet that was a perennial favourite of mine as a child. They are still a favourite of my wifes today.

The elderflower bush or tree is simple to identify by the small 3-5mm diameter flowers bunched in 10-25cm bunches. Donโ€™t be afraid to get your nose in there for a special treat, the sweet floral aroma is heavenly.

I usually make this recipe in massive quantities but have scaled it down and it works beautifully.

So either make a manageable portion or scale it up and go wild and crazy.

The light alcohol content of between 1 and 2% will not leave you with a stonking hangover or crawling around the garden on all fours.

Try to harvest and make your Elderflower Champagne recipe in the morning. I always find that the aromas and flavours are greatly intensified if they have not been baked by the summer sun all day!

I love nothing more than creating tasty things that I either find or grow in my garden and my elderflower champagne recipe is a triumph as far as that is concerned!

Elderflower Cordial…

This is a rare post that contains tow recipes for you. An Elderflower cordial recipe joins the Elderflower champagne recipe.

As you can see from the two recipes below there is no difference in the ingredients between elderflower cordial and champagne. Only the ratios differ and of course the fact that elderflower cordial is not fermented.

Elderflower has a strong association with ‘Victorian’ Britain. However, it is an ancient idea dating back to Roman times and likely before that.

Elderflower grows throughout Europe, North East Africa and Western. It typically blooms between May and June. So sorry US readers you may have to skip this one, but I would love to hear if it is popular out there.

4 Simple Ingredients and you have elderflower champagne, what's not to like. The core ingredient is free and the rest of the ingredients are store cupboard favourites!
Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Elderflower Champagne Recipe

Yield: Loads
Prep Time: 1 hour
Cook Time: 1 minute
Total Time: 1 hour 1 minute

4 Simple Ingredients and you have elderflower champagne, what's not to like. The core ingredient is free and the rest of the ingredients are store cupboard favourites!

Ingredients

  • 5 L Water
  • 12 Elderflower Heads, Large
  • 700 g Sugar
  • 3 Lemons, Juice and Zest

Instructions

  1. Harvest your Elderflower: You are looking for large clean heads between 15-20cm in diameter and sort through to remove any bugs or other debris
  2. Heat 2 litres of water to just below boiling point and pour into a large steralised bucket and add the sugar
  3. Stir until the Sugar has disolved
  4. Add 3 litres of cold water
  5. Add the juice and yest of 3 lemons and stir
  6. Finally add the Elderflower
  7. Cover with a muslin cloth firmly secured to prevent any creepy crawlies invading and leave to sit for 3 days, if after 3 days you have no sign of bubble or fermentation then add 7g of champagne or wine yeast (this should be readily available in health food stores
  8. Leave for a further 3 days and then strain through a steralised muslin cloth and allow to sit for a couple of hours to allow it to settle
  9. Siphon off into bottles of your choice, ensuring that you release the pressure of the fermentation every 2-3 days to prevent any exploding bottles
  10. After 2 weeks your champagne will be ready to drink!

Notes

This recipe scales wonderfully, I made a 30 litre batch and simply multiplied the ingredients by 6!

Calorific value relates to the full recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 1455Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 178mgCarbohydrates: 377gFiber: 4gSugar: 367gProtein: 2g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.
Elderflower Cordial Recipe

Elderflower Cordial Recipe

Yield: Loads
Prep Time: 1 days
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1 days 15 minutes

A simple but deliciously versatile Elderflower cordial recipe, not only great for supping on a summers day but a perfect base for jellies or flavouring for panna cotta!

Ingredients

  • 2.5 kg Sugar
  • 25 Elderflower Heads, Large
  • 6 Lemons, Juice and Zest
  • 1.5 L Water

Instructions

  1. Add 1.5 litres of water in a large pan with the sugar and heat without boiling until the sugar has completely dissolved
  2. Then bring the syrup to the boil and then take off the heat
  3. Add the Juice and Zest of the Lemons and the Elderflower heads to the liquid and allow to steep for 24 hours
  4. Strain the resulting syrup through a steralised muslin cloth and decant into a bottle

Notes

Simply dilute the syrup to taste and it will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks although it rarely lasts that long. I love to serve elderflower cordial with slices of cucumber for extra freshness!

Calorific Value refers to the full recipe.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 9949Total Fat: 2gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 240mgCarbohydrates: 2578gFiber: 14gSugar: 2536gProtein: 6g
Calorific details are provided by a third-party application and are to be used as indicative figures only.

30 thoughts on this Recipe:

  1. I am Jenny Spring in eketahuna and have just started making elderflower champagne thanks to your recipe! My daughter lives near Arrowtown and has been making the cordial for a few years. Christmas with Elderflower champagne will be tres magnifique!! It is good to be alive in this great little town!

    Reply
  2. I’ve made this with 2 kg sugar – it’s convenient as you buy sugar in 2-kg packs and cutting down by half a kilo doesn’t seem to make any difference: it’s still delicious.

    Reply
  3. Hi, what do you do if after 3 days there is slight mould growth? Iโ€™ve added the yeast as also not fermenting. The bucket was new and I used the steriliser prior to use.

    Reply
    • It would seem that this is a ‘thing’ this year, I rely on wild yeasts in this recipe and on occasions it can go wrong… Mother nature is very fickle, there is a remote chance that you can rescue by syphoning off the wine leaving behind the top. Then adding Campden tablets, the amount will be defined by the size of your brew, allow the campden tablets to do their business and then restart the fermentation with champagne yeast.

      I’ll be updating my post in the coming days with a what to do if it goes wrong section.

      Good luck!

      Reply
  4. I wish I had seen your recipes first! Your recipes are the best I’ve seen in fact, I have a question since I have 2 gallons of “elder” stuff made up. I strained the flowers and lemons out the end of the 2nd day. It has set on the counter in closed jars for a week. I was hoping to slightly ferment it. There has been a layer develop on the top. Now, I’m afraid that it might not be safe to consume. I have no concerns about contamination, the kitchen is kept clean. Any thoughts would be appreciated. By the way, we just put out 1000 elderberry cuttings this year in phase 1!

    Reply
    • Hi Sherrie, sorry it took me while to respond we had a super busy weekend. I’m afraid I don’t have a tonne of first hand advice for you we, we did abandon one of our attempts one year as a crust had formed on top but it was only on a single batch and we have not had it since. I would definitely say that if you are concerned in any way then err on the side of caution and try another batch if you can.

      Good luck with the 1000 cuttings that sounds like a mountain of work, we have maybe a dozen in our garden and rarely use all of them ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  5. I have a layer on top of my Champagne that is about 1/2 thick. I dissolved the sugar in water and poured it over the lemons and elderflowers. I let it set for 2 days and strained out the flowers and lemons. I let this set out for a week. It now has the layer collected at the top. I’ve opened the lids occasionally to let off any gasses; although I haven’t noticed any. Now I am wondering if it is safe to drink. I keep a clean kitchen and so I’m not concerned about contamination. Any thoughts would be appreciated. I wish I had found your recipe before I started!

    Reply
  6. The only elderflower cocktail I’ve ever had was in an awesome restaurant in Savannah, SC and it was super delicious! Glad you brought back the memory, and maybe I’ll attempt my own now!

    Reply
    • I hope so, it is super simple to work with and free for us given we have about 20 Elderflower bushes in our garden and who does not like free booze ๐Ÿ˜€

      Reply
    • I have made elderflower on several occasions but sometimes there is no fizz. Why does this happen. (I mix it with good quality sparkling water) and still tastes great. Just wondered what I was doing wrong.

      Reply
      • A lack of fizz when making elderflower champagne usually means a lack of fermentation, this can be as a result of lots of things. Whether the yeast has been killed off with excessive heat or even a lack of natural yeast form the flowers themselves.

        If your elderflower champagne does not need ‘burping’ then you can try kick-starting the fermenting process by treating with Campden tablets then adding champagne yeast and depending on how much sugar you added more sugar.

        Good luck ๐Ÿ™‚

        Reply
  7. I have tons of elderflower liqueur and syrup in my cabinets but don’t think I even knew what the real flowers looked like til now! These look amazing and so refreshing.

    Reply
    • Hehe, I love elderflower, you can even use the flowers in salads which a pretty but way too much of a faff for me as you can’t wash them so you need to brush the bugs and cobwebs away ๐Ÿ˜ฎ Shortly after the flowering season goes away they turn in to tiny dark berries which are the ‘elderberry’ that you may come across and they have a completely different flavour and make a lovely wine and liqueur.

      Reply
  8. My grandmother used to make something similar to this, but I’m sure she used to harvest the plants and dry them. She would steep them and made a elderflower tea – she swore it would cure all ailments, but I’m sure that’s because her tea was brewed with alcohol and she just couldn’t feel her headache anymore after drinking it. ๐Ÿ™‚ Looks very pretty!

    Reply
    • Haha, I swear by alcohol as a cure all with a hot toddy being the greatest of them all. Not heard of drying elderflower, but I reckon if you harvested the flowers and then dried them then they would make something close to a nice tea.

      Reply
  9. This is amazing!! I have to find some elderflowers!! Thanks so much for sharing this on Waste Not Want Not Wednesday, I’ve pinned it and am sharing it ๐Ÿ™‚

    Reply
    • Thanks Danielle, hopefully you can finds some… Both the cordial and the champagne recipes are so stupidly simple it hurts and as far as I am concerned it aint summer with out lashings of both of them ๐Ÿ˜€

      Reply
  10. Pingback: Melt in Your Mouth Monday | Make Ahead Meals For Busy Moms
    • The fizz is a real treat… Don’t forget to ‘burp’ the bottles though, we had one explode this year ๐Ÿ˜ฎ

      Reply
  11. I was first introduced to elderflowers in Hungary. There’s a brand which sells elderflower kefir that I absolutely adore! Have you come across it there? Alas I have never seen elderflowers here in Spain. Might have to come visit to get a glass of this ay!

    Reply
    • I have not stumbled across Elderflower Kefir, I’ll keep my eyes open next time we head into town… Strange you should mention that though as I am on a rare foray into the world of sweet food this week and should have an elderflower & yoghurt desert hitting the blog either this evening or tomorrow ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
  12. This would have made the perfect libation for this past holiday weekend. Fortunately we don’t need a holiday for an excuse to try something that looks and sounds this wonderful; thanks for sharing and for the inspiration.

    Reply
    • Thanks Dan, hope you enjoy… Aint nothing finer than kicking back in the garden with ‘free booze’ particularly if it is heady with elderflower and watching the world pass by ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply
    • You really should, for me the taste of elderflower is my favourite part of summer, the season is pitifully short though… Fortunately I made 30 litres of the champagne ๐Ÿ™‚

      Reply

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