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Alcohol-Free Fermented Elderflower Champagne


This alcohol-free elderflower champagne uses the natural yeasts on elderflowers and in the air for gentle fermentation, resulting in a slightly fizzy, floral beverage. We were so amazed by the complexity of flavour that developed in such a short fermentation time!

Takes 6 days 30 minutes

Serves 8

Ingredients
 

Elderflowers:

  • 10-12 elderflower heads

Water:

  • 4 litres 16 cups

Sugar:

  • 500 g 17.6 oz

Citrus:

  • 2 large limes organic, if possible

White Wine Vinegar:

  • 2 tbsp

Instructions
 

Prepare the Elderflower Infusion:

  • Pick and Clean Elderflowers: Pick 10-12 elderflower heads, ensuring they are fully open and fragrant. Shake gently to remove any insects but do not rinse as the natural yeasts on the flowers are essential for fermentation.
  • Boil the Water: Boil 2 litres (8 cups) of water and pour it into a large, heatproof bowl or container.
  • Add Sugar: Add 500g (17.6 oz) of sugar to the hot water and stir until completely dissolved.
  • Cool the Water: Add the remaining 2 litres (8 cups) of cold water to the bowl to cool the mixture down to lukewarm temperature.
  • Prepare the Limes: Thinly slice 2 large limes, removing any seeds.
  • Add Ingredients: Add the elderflower heads, lemon slices, and 2 tbsp of white wine vinegar to the sugar water mixture.

Start Fermentation:

  • Cover and Ferment: Cover the bowl with a clean cloth and let it sit at room temperature for 2-3 days. Stir the mixture once a day. You should start to see some bubbles forming, indicating that fermentation has begun.

Bottle and Continue Fermentation:

  • Strain and Bottle: After 2-3 days, strain the liquid through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth into clean, sterilised bottles. Seal the bottles tightly.
  • Ferment Further: Leave the bottled elderflower champagne at room temperature for another 3-4 days to build up carbonation.

Chill and Serve:

  • Refrigerate: After the second fermentation period, refrigerate the bottles for at least 24 hours before serving.
  • Serve: Carefully open the bottles to release the built-up carbonation, pour into glasses, and enjoy your naturally fizzy, alcohol-free elderflower champagne!

Notes

Notes

  • Natural Yeasts: Do not wash the elderflowers, as the natural yeasts on them are crucial for fermentation.
  • Fermentation Time: The fermentation time may vary depending on the temperature and yeast activity. Monitor the bottles carefully to avoid over-carbonation.
  • Safety: Use sturdy bottles designed for carbonation to prevent any risk of explosion.
This recipe harnesses natural fermentation, providing a delightful fizzy drink without any added yeast. Enjoy responsibly!
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