Midsummer – time to make Elderflower Champagne – which is not champagne – or alcoholic – at all – but, according to my family, is every bit as good as champagne:
4 large elderflower heads
2 lemons – rind and juice
2 tblsp white wine vinegar
1 lb 8 oz of granulated sugar
7 pints cold water
You will need 2 large clean buckets – one to make the champagne in and another to strain the champagne into.
Remove flower petals from elderflower heads (just rub the flowers off the stalks – it’s not critical if some stalks get in as well) and put in a bucket with rind and juice of 2 lemons.
Add water and vinegar and stir well.
Leave for 2 days, stirring night and morning.
Strain through a stocking held over a sieve or colander into the second bucket.
Add sugar and stir well.
Leave 24 hours then bottle in screw top bottles. (Plastic pop bottles will do fine.)
It should be ready to drink after about a week.
If not drinking straight away you will need to release the tops of the bottles regularly so they don’t explode – or you can use old port bottles with corks.