Thursday, June 23, 2011

Making Elder Flower Champagne

Photo By Sharondippity of

The elderberry bushes are in full bloom around here, so I decided to pick some of the flowers to make Elder Flower Champagne.

The recipe I'm using is from Susan Weed, Director of the Wise Woman Center in Woodstock, New York, and author of New Menopausal Years, Alternative Approaches for Women 30-90 and Healing Wise (Wise Woman Herbal Series).

7 large heads of elder blossoms
1 pound of white sugar, no substitutes!!
2 large or 3 small organic lemons
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 gallon water
4 liter-sized wine or champagne bottles and corks

Dissolve sugar in 1 quart of boiling water. Add rest of water. Slice lemons very thinly and add to water/sugar. Add vinegar and mix well.

Place elder flowers head down in a crock, large glass bowl, or non-metal pot. Pour liquid mixture over flower heads. 

Cover with a kitchen towel held in place with a rubber band. 

After 24 hours, strain through a fine cloth (I used a clean piece of butter muslin), bottle, and cork. 

Mature your Elder Flower Champagne in the dark for three or more weeks. It will be naturally fizzy when ready to drink, so watch out when you pop the cork!

Update 6/25
I walked into the pantry last night and got "shot" by one of the corks! Several of the ten bottles had already blown the corks, so I transferred the contents to one gallon jars and added an airlock.


  1. Oh my, oh my - this sounds amazing! I think I'm going to have to rustle up some fresh flowers and try this one. Sitting in the shade on the patio, drinking some elder flower champagne at day's end sounds divine. :)

  2. It does sound divine, doesn't it? :)

  3. Interesting. I wish we had elder flowers here. I would love to try this.

  4. We were walking through the woods yesterday with our nature class, and I saw these bushes with beautiful, tiny, very aromatic flowers that look very similar to the ones in the picture above. I think they may be elder berry. Imagine!

    The champagne sounds absolutely divine, and I will be checking out those bushes in the woods out back ... perhaps I'll be making some of my own brew, too ;).

  5. Awesome! Gotta put this on my list of things to try!

  6. As someone who makes her own beer and is familiar with the whole "shooting cork" (or exploding beer bottle) phenomenon, you might want to adjust the amount of sugar in the recipe. Too much "finishing" sugar (the sugar that's converted to carbon dioxide at the end of the brewing process to create the fizzy effect in both beer and champagne) is usually the culprit when wine pops its cork or beer bottle explode.

  7. Thanks, although I don't think it was too much sugar as only a few popped their corks. I think I just didn't push the corks in far enough.

    They barely bubbled after putting under airlocks and I soon bottled them in bottles with a bail top. Decently fizzy, but not overly so.


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