Let The Fermentation Begin! – Elderflower Champagne, A Tutorial.

This is so simple and cheap, each year I make three batches and pop it into up to eighteen plus, previously drained (gulp, gulp, gulp) clean (I use sterilising tablets on them because it’s so easy) wine bottles. Store it upright, to prevent pressurised leaking, and feel free to start glugging it back chilled, anytime after six weeks. It’s delicious. Thanks to Angela and Sandra for passing it on.

1. Put one and a half pounds of sugar in a big bowl and drench with two pints of boiling water. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add six pints of cold water.

2. Add the rind and juice of two large lemons. Don’t worry if the pips fall in, you’ll be straining it later. (Yes, that is a potato peeler)

3. Add two tablespoons on white wine vinegar (I’ve used cider and even malt at a push)

4. Add four large flower heads or six small (after slicing off the chunkier bits of stem) I can never resist chucking in a couple more. See those thunder flies? Technically, this wine is not vegetarian.

5. Stir well and leave covered for 48 hours stirring occasionally.

6. Strain (I use an old muslin resting in a plastic sieve) and pour into bottles leaving an inch gap at the top. Screw down well. Leave in a cool place. You’re done. Well done.

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