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Elderflower Cordial Recipe

27 May 2016 11:42:11



Ingredients (makes approximately 1.5 litres)

20 heads of nice, fresh elderflowers (not picked by a busy road). Leave ‘creamy coloured’ heads to mature to berries for later wine making.

1.8 kg granulated sugar, or caster sugar

1.5 litres water

2 unwaxed lemons

75 g citric acid



large bowl


cloth (to cover the bowl)

fine straining bag




1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl.

2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.

3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl.

4. Pour over the boiling syrup and then stir in the citric acid.

5. Cover with a cloth and leave at room temperature for 24 hours.

6. Next, strain the cordial through a fine straining bag, and pour into thoroughly cleaned glass or plastic bottles. Screw on the lids and keep in cool dark place.

(If desired, Campden tablets may be added to preserve your cordial for longer.  Follow the guidance on the bottle.)

To serve, dilute to taste with still or fizzy mineral water or lemonade.

Posted in Recipes By The Hopping Grape

Elderflower Champagne Recipe

27 May 2016 09:50:41



2 kg sugar
10 unwaxed lemons
heads of nice, fresh elderflowers (not picked by a busy road). Leave ‘creamy coloured’ heads to mature to berries for later wine making.
4 tablespoons of white wine vinegar
Champagne Yeast
yeast nutrient

Approx. 16 litres of water


large spoon
5 gallon/23 litre fermentation bucket
straining bag
bottles (able to hold higher pressures)


Sterilise and rinse all equipment.


1. Boil 4 litres of water and dissolve the sugar.
2. Transfer into a brewing bin and add top up with water to the 16 litre mark.
3. Remove the florets (a fork is useful) as too much green stalk can impart bitter flavours.
4. Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.
5. Allow to cool to 20
oC, add the yeast and stir.  (If you prefer, you can omit the yeast and see if the natural yeasts can do their job.  If no fermentation is evident after a couple of days, add yeast and continue as planned.)
6. Cover and leave to ferment for around 2 weeks. 
7. Strain the liquid through a straining bag and syphon into sterilised bottles; PET, champagne or glass swing-top bottles are best.
  Standard wine bottles are not suitable.
8. Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for a further eight days before serving chilled.


This will make a drink of approximately 4% ABV.


You must check your bottles EVERY day to make sure there is no build-up of pressure which could be dangerous if you are using glass!  You might need to release any build-up of pressure by opening the lid and allowing excess gas to escape.  It is easy to spot plastic PET bottles starting to expand and swell; just turn the cap and let some pressure out before resealing.




Open with care, ideally outside as there is a tendency to fizz over, especially if not very chilled. Pour carefully as bottles will contain some sediment.




Best served in a glass jug with plenty of ice.


Posted in Recipes By The Hopping Grape

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