Elder Flower FizzUpdated: May 29th, 2023Created: June 24th, 2020
Thinking the best time for picking is a sunny day, late morning or when there is a clear and present smell
- 25 heads, I wonder if the strong wind has depleted the aroma?
June 13th A bit late for the best of the flowers, but here goes
- Gathered heads and spent 45 min removing flowers some 200ml or 40grammes
- 1.5Lt of two year old rain water
- Around 2pm GMT added just over 100ml lemon juice (pasteurised)
- 90 min later added 160 grammes of sugar and put in light from the window to warm
May 20th First flowers ~ one flower head by water tubs
June 10th Picked 23 heads around 20:00 :: finished pulling off flowers by 22:00
Well over 230ml flowers, 2.3Lt water over 100ml lemon juice ~ leave over night until 7:20pm.
19:20 Used around 320g sugar for some 3.2Lt.>
- 14:23 Was thinking of decanting early, without filtering but the sugar hasn't dissolved and is at the bottom of the pan? So a stirring or three will be happening. Placed in the sun for a while?
- Ok sugar seems to have dissolved and 16 min in the sun so will bottle up, outside :)
- 15:00 Filled 3 x 700 1 x 750ml bottles and 1 x 500ml exactly ? so some 3.35Lt :) (3Lt plus sugar)
s in flavouring various water based drinks. Starting with a 'lemonade' and working towards a fermented product.
One query was how many flower heads to use and when to pick them. The opinions are as varied as to be useless. From 20 to 30 heads for a litre of fizz and 10 for 8 litres of wine ??
I mean water flavoured with elderflowers that has been sweetened, to taste. The presse may be kept cold or allowed to ferment a little but it not designed to be alcoholic.
Wine is clearly meant to be alcoholic though wine is not a good term to use as it should be used only for alcohol made from grapes that has not been distilled to spirt.
I have read (early morning) and (when it is hot and sunny). What I noticed on this second venture was that when it was hot and sunny it seemed the flowers had more scent, so I managed to find some 16-19 flower head of various sizes and condition. One was only just about to open to flower, whilst a few had a few slightly browning flowers etc.
The criteria I am using is the quantity of flowers after removal from the heads, as in the image above. I placed them in a large 10" stainless steel saucepan with 9 tumblers of water. The tumbler was more full of water each time than it was of flowers, so it may be more like 1 to 10 in volume. I then added half a tumbler of lemon juice, organic from Sicily but pasteurised. Some ideas for this addition are as an acid stabiliser, to stop browning, and to tart the infusion a little. Finally I put the lid on the pan and I am leaving it overnight, so the flowers will steep for some 16 hours. Then I'll strain them and squeeze out what I can then use the heads in a soft oat biscuit.
So here are the main points;
A volume of flowers, removed from the heads
Water at ten times the volume of heads
Some lemon juice to tart it.
Leave for half a day or more in a closed pan, no need to seal it. I didn't clean the pan other than a normal hand wash and rinse.
Strain and squeeze what you can from the flowers. Just used a piece of muslin that had been hand washed and rinsed.
Add sugar and return to the saucepan for another day or two. I used a tumbler full ~ so 10% by volume. 100g sugar per litre would theoretically make for a dry 10% alcoholic drink, if all goes well. But drinking after a few days or a week or two is difficult to resist.
Bottle with screw top.
After two days release the tops a little to see if there is any fizz.
Tighten the tops again and drink as required.
The drink will become less sweet and gain alcohol over time, maybe :)
If the drink is too sweet and flavourful enough, drink some and top bottle up with water.
This is the closest I have come to the method I use, except less flowers and more sugar ??