There are amazing numbers of Dandelion flowers (taraxacum officinale) everywhere at the moment so we thought it would be a shame if we didn’t bottle a bit of the spring sunshine in the form of some Dandelion champagne.
You have probably heard of Elderflower champagne and this is made with a similar recipe using the natural yeasts in the flowers to ferment a lightly sparkling and slightly alcoholic drink that is perfect for drinking on sunny spring picnics.
Why not give it a go?
- 500ml volume of Dandelion flowers
- 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 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.
Some pictures from our One day foraging course 03.05.2014