Spring flower Champagne. And Syrups as mixers or Desert ingredients.
If you try these recipes I would love to hear from you and of course any tips or recipes you might like to share.
The hills and countryside are rich in wildflowers now in mid may. The Fabulous almond scent of Gorse fills the air when the sun shines, there are still plenty of Dandelions to be found and I’ve spotted a few early Elderflowers.
“Champagne” is quick and easy to make and a wonderful low alcohol drink to enjoy in the garden,a “sundowner” as they say in NSW.
Syrups are quick and easy to make, diluted with sparkling water they are delicious, or use drizzled over deserts or breakfast pancakes.
Tip, gather your blossom on a sunny day if at all possible and use as soon as you get home, they will keep a few days in fridge but loose a certain amount of their fragrance.
Ingredients and equipment
- Large container for first ferment, to hold 10 liters liquid plus the blossom (15 liter), or scale down recipe if liked.
- 5 liters of flower petals, Gorse, Dandelion with green removed. Elderflower, I’ve used a mix of mainly Gorse with some Dandelion and just 4 heads of Elderflower.
- 1kg unrefined sugar.
- Ten liters of water.
- Zest and juice of 3 limes, 1 lemon. organic
- ⅓ cup of cider vinegar, (or white wine vinegar)
- 1 sachet of champagne yeast (optional, wild yeast will do its own work)
- Large jug
- On day 4 you will also need, sieve, funnel, Muslin or other cloth for straining. Also strong swing top bottles or Plastic water bottles at a pinch.
Tip, to clean Dandelion flowers, hold by the stalk, Gather petals in other hand and twist.
- Put the kettle to boil, noting how mush water you are using to fill, 1liter, 1 ½ or 2.
- Put all cleaned blossoms into fermenting vessel along with zests, juice and vinegar.
- Measure sugar into the jug and pour the boiling water over stirring to dissolve.
- Pour the hot syrup and any remaining boiling water over the blossom and stir.
- Top up with remainder of water, allow to cool to room temperature.
- Add champagne if using, if not don’t worry, wild yeast will do it’s work.
- Leave in a warm place for 2-4 days till the mix bubbles
- Tip, as soon as I have added yeast I wrap my bucket in a blanket, this helps keep the temperature constant and fermentation even.
- On day 4, strain and bottle in strong swing-top bottles or plastic water bottles.
- Leave 2 weeks,in a cool place, then move to fridge.
Tip, Strain through just a sieve first,squeezing out as much liquid as possible with back of spoon. Then strain again through muslin or cotton, be patient this can take a little time. You can see from the layer at top of bottles that I did not strain mine well enough, so will empty bottles and re-strain, this won’t do any harm as it is bottled just two days and won’t loose much fizz by being re-bottled.
Delicious syrups for mixers, lemonades or deserts are quick and east to make and twice as quick to disappear, here I use a mix of Nettle and Lemon balm and as season goes on will add more recipes for Rose petals and Garden herbs.
- 1 liter of nettle tops
- 2 handfuls of Lemon balm (or use zest and juice of 1 lime or lemon.
- 1 liter water.
- Put nettle tops and lemon balm or zest and juice into bowl,
- Boil the water and pour over,
- Stir till sugar is fully dissolved,
- Allow to sit for an hour covered with a clean cloth.
- Strain, first through a sieve then muslin and bottle.
- Keeps in fridge for about 4 weeks.