Thursday, December 9, 2010

Elderflower Champagne

It's elderflower season in New Zealand, and the perfect time to utilise this beautiful flower by making it into a delicious, light, elderflower champagne! Paddy and I have just bottled 15 litres of it, and can't wait to crack a bottle open for our Christmas Eve dinner. Hopefully we have the willpower to save a few bottles, to let the taste mature. This is very mildly alcoholic, maybe around 0.4 %, if that.

There are many, many elderflower bushes growing wild, on sides of roads and in fields. We found our bush (only a few kms from our house) through the Otautahi Foraging website.

Elderflower Champagne (from NZ Gardener, Homegrown 2)

10 litres water (boiled then cooled)
Juice and rind of two lemons
1kg white sugar
4 Tbls white wine vinegar
10-50 heads of elderflowers

First, forage for your flowers.

Wash them in a bucket of water, but don't get too worried about any bits and pieces, as the mixture gets strained later anyway. Boil the water and allow it to cool and add to a clean bucket with a lid.

Zest your lemons, and add the lemon juice and rind, sugar and vinegar to the cooled water and stir with a clean wooden spoon. Add the elderflower heads and push them down gently until they are submerged.



Put the lid on the bucket and let it sit in a warm room for a day stirring every six hours.

Strain through a sieve lined with muslin and bottle in vessels that are airtight and can handle a bit of fizz! Plastic soft drink bottles or glass bottles with clasps would work fine.


The taste improves with time (about six months is good apparently) but it’s ready to go in two weeks.

I shared this post on Sustainable Eats' Simple Lives Thursday.


  1. We're going to have to try this. We made elderflower syrup this summer, which we use with carbonated water for a soda drink. Sounds great!

  2. Would this be considered an "alcoholic" beverage or more of a soda pop?

    1. It is definitely alcoholic. In fact, it blows your head off, but doesn't taste like it's going to. It is my favourite drink of all time!

  3. Abby, it's so yummy aye! I had some of the stuff we didn't leave to carbonate with some sparkling wine last night and it was a divine summer eve drink.
    Loves2spin, I would definitely say more of a soda, the alcohol content is so minimal, it's not at all noticeable :)

  4. MMMMM,..the endresult looks great!! I must make these filled bottles when it is summer over here in Europe!!


  5. Hey thats great recepy thank you very much :-) Very cool pics