Google+ What I Made Today: Elderflower Champagne

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Elderflower Champagne

Over the past 10-days or so, I've been harvesting the Elder blooms to make batches of elderflower "champagne." I've never made this before, though I have made other wild fermented beverages. I was inspired to make this soft-drink by Susun Weed's recent video. And I am glad, for this is a delicious, sparkling and loving wild ferment!

Susun's recipe, for a one gallon batch, calls for:

1 gallon of boiled water
2 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar
a handful of dried lemon rind
7 elderflower blooms

I've been working with single, one gallon batches, which has afforded me the opportunity to play with added ingredients like this elderflower/black currant variation (pictured). I've made others with additions of hibiscus and rose petals and orange peel. I have over a dozen bottles of various sizes crowding my dining table. We definitely need more shelves in our main living space … I don't dare put these downstairs in the pantry cabinets for fear I forget about them, for they are intended as soft-drinks, to be imbibed not long after their bottling, as they are volatile and could become what brewers call "bottle bombs."

Today I'll be creating a batch (or two) that will receive a full second fermentation to be bottled as wine. It's an experiment, one that may or may not yield enjoyable results, but I have a Good feeling about it. To make the wine I'll be adding an organic banana to the simmer as well as organic/fair-trade camilla sinensis (black tea). The banana adds to the mouth-feel and the tea will offer some tannic acid to enhance the dryness that I love in my wines and meads.

While I still have elder budding, it is blooming fast .

Many blooms are already moving into the phase of berry production.

So I don't have much time left to make this happen. And the bees (of every variety) are, like me, acting with a sense of urgency, so negotiating for the blooms poses added challenges! But happen it shall, and I look forward to the months ahead (possibly a year or more) to taste how this wine matures.

The magic of the elder is worth preserving. In so many ways.

That's what I'm making today.



Tammie Lee said...

such a wonderful sounding and looking drink. Plus timely as i am heading to the mountains today and hope to find some elderflowers.

Thank you for sharing.

Debi said...

I am salivating! Wonderful recipe! You will need a road side stand! xoDebi

Sharkbytes said...

Sounds like an interesting beverage.

Unknown said...

I love the image of urgency on the part of all involved. Of anyone I know, you have the negotiating skills with bees to make it all work.

I plan on enjoying my sample this evening, in a toast to success on the morrow.

Healing Woman said...

Interesting! I've never heard of the drink but have heard of elder berry wine. Hummm..trying to figure what it would taste like with the banana in it but I know you know what you are doing!

rose of Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

Thank you all for your kind comments. Not only do I appreciate them, but they offer fuel to my motivation!

And Cheryl, the banana doesn't really do anything to the flavor. I only added half of a small organic banana to my gallon batch, and it's to offer a nice mouth feel (as they say in the wine world) and to offer legs (as they also say) to the finished product.

It's still in the primary ferment stage … and it is an experiment, so we shall see!

Good things some to those who wait! ::fingers crossed::

Dawn Hill said...

Look at that color! I think the black current was genius!

sheila 77 said...

Sounds really delicious. I expect you know that an elder tree keeps the witches away.

rose of Walk in the Woods - she/her said...

Oh, sheila, indeed the beverage *is* delightfully delicious, however I beg to differ on the keeping witches away! :D

PiaRom said...

Ohh this looks soooo yummy and you are so inspiring to try this out on my own....but I have to wait till next year...booming time of elderflower is over....looks like a sort of kombucha to me ;)

Lorraine said...

love the art page and all these things you are making delicious. I am waiting for the blackberries in the fields to ripen and my apples then it will be jam making time

Carol said...

What a lovely sounding drink...something I just might have to file away for future trying.