Spring is in full bloom: wild flowers and blossom are coming out everywhere. We’ve been making the most of them in cordials and syrups, but this recipe for a quick and easy champagne was the one we thought you’d like to try. The people on our wild food weekend course loved it and thought we should sell it to the supermarkets! The recipe is below along with tips on ingredients and some photos from the weekend course.
Elderflower is the classic spring champagne but you can use other flowers to make a delicious spring fizz. I used the flowers here in this basket. A mixture of Dandelion, (remove the green outer parts) Gorse, White Dead Nettle flowers and Apple blossom. You could also use Red Clover, Broom, Hawthorn blossom and in a month rose petals and of course – Elderflower.
- 500ml volume of flowers and blossom as above
- 250g sugar
- 2 litres water
- 1 lemon sliced
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
You will also need a clean bucket, a thermometer, a large metal or plastic spoon, a large jug and a fine sieve or jelly bag for straining the liquid.
First sterilise your bucket by pouring boiling water all around the inside of it. Wash your flowers and blossom and put them into the bucket. In a large pan heat 1 litre of water with the sugar until dissolved, now add the other litre of water to it. Sterilise the thermometer and spoon again by pouring boiling water over them. Check the temperature of the sugar and water mix, when it is 21 degrees C pour it in to the fermentation bucket. Add the sliced lemon, lemon juice and vinegar and stir with the sterile spoon. Leave the bucket in a warm place, loosely covered with a clean tea towel, for about a week until the mix starts fermenting. Sterilise the jelly bag and a large jug with boiling water. Pour the contents of the bucket through the jelly bag and in to the jug. Bottle the champagne in clean plastic fizzy drink bottles and store for 2 weeks before drinking. Every couple of days let a little pressure out of the bottles if they are feeling too tight.
Wildfood weekend course 24th-26th May 2013
As well as learning over 30 wild spring edible plants the group prepared pigeons and trout, made pasta and helped to create some delicious food with wild plants, herbs and flowers. Saturday night’s dinner was a Middle eastern inspired meal of Lamb, pittas, tabouleh, houmous all flavoured with wild ingredients and cooked over the wood fires. Sunday looked at preserving with a session on hot smoking, tasting wild preserves and making flavoured fudge.
Another wonderful weekend in the woods!