Elderflower Wild Brew Recipe
When Spring Elderflower's are in bloom, it's the perfect time to start making Elderflower brew. There are many different recipes out there, from Elderflower Champagne or Fizz (which are bubbly), to Elderflower Cordial (which is a syrup later diluted with water).
My favorite recipe is a Wild Brew, using the wild yeasts found naturally on the Champagne. I call it brew because it removes all the connotations of what a wine or fizz or champagne should taste and look like, so nobody is dissapointed with the 'brew' that you've offered them.
To make a Wild Brew, you will need freshly picked Elderflowers. Don't wash them as this will remove the wild yeasts, and make sure you prepare this within a day of picking before they wilt. Gently shake the open elderflower heads to remove any insects, and pick off all the green stalks & stems (which are known to be poisonous).
- Mix 250g sugar with 2 litres of good quality water (preferably filtered), in a large, sterilised glass container. Stir well until the sugar is fully dissolved.
- Add the juice & zest of 1-3 lemons or limes. You can throw in the finely sliced remainders.
- Add 1 tablespoon of raw apple cider vinegar. Mix everything well.
- Drop in a handful of fresh elderflowers, 10-15 heads works well.
- Close the container loosely so that fermentation gases can escape, I usually just cover with a tea towel and hold it on with a rubber band.
- Leave on the bench overnight to start the fermentation. Stir 3-4 times a day with a sterilised stainless steel utensil.
- After 24-48 hours you should see some bubbles starting to form when stirred. No it's time to strain the brew with a sterilised strainer & or muslin cloth.
- Once strained bottle in sterilised glass jars or bottles. Cap tightly.
- Leave for 10 days to complete the fermentation. You may need to open and close the lids a few times during this time to let fermentation gases escape.
- Keep in the fridge once open.