Seasonal recipe: Elderflower Champagne

Jun 20, 2024

By Josine Atsma

You could be drinking this within just a few weeks, which shouldn’t be too hard, as it’s only very light in alcohol and very refreshing on a warm day.

Ingredients

10 heads of elderflowers
Zest and juice of 2 lemons
Fermentation Vessel
Lid for fermentation bin
1 tsp yeast nutrient
Steriliser Powder
Sparkling Yeast
Large Straining bag
Bottle brush
Clean Bottles

Preparation

Shake the elderflowers well to remove any insects.

Dissolve the sugar in 2 litres of boiling water, add 3 litres of cold water and allow to cool down to room temperature.

Add the elderflowers and the lemon zest and juice, yeast nutrient and, if you like a stronger Champagne, you can now add the yeast too. Elderflowers come with natural yeast, so it’s only optional to add more yeast.

Leave to ferment for 6 days at room temperature.

After fermentation strain through a muslin bag into strong, preferably Champagne, bottles.

Your elderflower champagne is ready to drink after about a week, but make sure you check the bottles regularly for any signs of too much pressure (I’ve had exploding elderflower bottles before, as did my friend Stuart – in the bus!)

Enjoy.

Josine and JP are hosts in Scotland sharing their home and garden with with 10 chickens, Harvey the rooster and two cats – “We are self-sufficient in most of our fruit and vegetables and eat weeds in the leaner months” – Josine is the owner of the vibrant and award winning Stirling Health Food Store where many more seasonal recipes like the one above can be found.

JP, who’s a freelance web developer, has built a website called ‘Circle of the Good Life’ where Josine writes a monthly blog about their life in Glendevon. Below is a summary of their WWOOF story including how this energetic and creative couple of ex-WWOOFers from the Netherlands came to be hosts themselves:

“We moved to a cottage with a fairly large garden back in 2011 where we wanted to grow our own fruit and vegetables and be self-sufficient for as much of the year as possible. It soon became clear that we had bitten more off than we could chew and decided we needed help. Thankfully we, ourselves, have been WWOOFers for 9 months in 2006 when we stayed with several different WWOOF hosts, all located in Scotland. This was such a great experience and some hosts had such an inspiring lifestyle that we took the plunge to move to Scotland and be self-sufficient. That’s how we knew about WWOOF and how it can be a two-way exchange of knowledge.”

Josine and JP’s garden

“We have welcomed between 20 – 30 WWOOFers during our time as hosts and always had great fun and, boy, what a difference an extra pair (or pairs) of hands make! With the help of WWOOFers we built a greenhouse, a chicken coop, dug a massive pond, planted trees, grew lots of vegetables and made jam, sauerkraut and wine. We have so many fond memories: playing board games with each other, watching (horror) movies, listening to music and going for walks in the countryside. Of course, sometimes you find there are not many common grounds between hosts and volunteer or that language is a barrier, but you always find ways around it and that’s what’s so good about WWOOF; you learn about other cultures and can have open discussions to learn even more about others.”

Big thanks to Josine for sharing her potted WWOOF story with us, and of course, this seasonal treat for the taste buds.

Photos: Josine Atsma

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