Chances are that you will be familiar with the taste of elderflower, probably through that sickly-sweet cordial that you can buy in supermarkets. That's pretty standard fayre, as far as we are concerned, so we've turned our attention to adding a slightly boozier dimension to give you that real taste of summer with the extra excitement of making it yourself! Forage Box is, after all, trying to get people to reconnect with nature and we reckon this is a perfect introduction to a foraged homebrew. This is even more exciting because we are relying on the wild yeast present on the flowers, so each batch will be unique to you.
In our Elderflower Sparkling Wine Kit (we would have loved to have used the far more romantic name of 'Elderflower Ch*mpagne' but using that C-word comes with all sorts of restrictions and policing) you get elderflowers, sugar and lemon... and that's it! All you need to do is provide a bit of water and find a suitable bottle. We recommend a 1 litre plastic bottle but please reuse what you have lying around - PLEASE DO NOT BUY A SINGLE-USE BOTTLE JUST FOR THIS! If you can't find a plastic bottle, you can use a milk bottle, glass jar, old sauce bottle or anything else around the 1 litre mark.
Making your sparkling wine is easy - just follow the recipe below or visit our Recipes page
2 elderflowers (provided)
100g brewing sugar (provided)
Juice and rind of half a lemon (provided)
1 litre of room temperature water
In a large bowl, mix the all the ingredients together and cover. Leave somewhere warm for 24 hours.
Strain off flowers and lemon and pour into a clean, ideally sterilised, 1 litre bottle/jar. Leave an inch of air or so at the top of the container.
Store at room temperature for around a week to ferment out. Wild yeast is unpredictable so this may take slightly longer.
It is VERY IMPORTANT that the bottle is 'burped' daily to allow the build-up of pressurised gas to be released. This means undoing the bottle lid a little to allow the gas to escape, but not allowing the liquid to fizz out (you may need to reseal the bottle lid and wait a few minutes before going again). Each time you do this, keep repeating the until the gas is no longer hissing out. FAILURE TO DO THIS STAGE WILL LIKELY RESULT IN EXPLODING BOTTLES! The technique for this is much like when someone shakes your bottle of fizzy pop and you have to gently and patiently let the pressurised gas escape.
Continue to burp and monitor your bottle of sparkling wine until it has calmed down enough to remove the lid without frothing over.
Once at this gently sparkling stage, put the lid back on the bottle and chill it in the fridge.
Serve in a tall glass, perhaps with a slice of lemon and ice.