English Wine Week: Elderflower Wine

In all the mayhem of the Diamond Jubilee, we overlooked the fact that it is English Wine Week. Now that we’ve posted every last photograph, recipe, video, and piece of memorabilia relating to The Queen’s 60 years on the throne, we felt a glass of something delicious, British and alcoholic was the perfect way to change gears.

I’ll drink to that!

We’ve featured elderflower before, and will feature it again and again until every last one of you has tried it in some form. Floral, delicate and tasting a little like pear, or perhaps of lemon, but essentially completely unique, you’ll be hard pushed not to fall in love with this most British of summertime flavors. And, thankfully, it makes a delicious glass of wine. To be served at your next garden party!

Elderflower Wine

Yeast Starter
175 ml / 6 fl oz water
1 Dessertspoon Malt Extract
1 Dessertspoon Sugar
A Pinch of Citric Acid
A Pinch of Yeast Nutrient
The Yeast from the recipe

1. In a small pan boil WATER, add MALT EXTRACT, SUGAR and CITRIC ACID, take off the heat, stiring until disolved. Pour into a small bottle.
2. When warm add the YEAST and YEAST NUTRIENT.Plug the bottle with cotton wool and leave in a warm place.
3. The yeast will ferment and be ready in to use in 2 days.
One sachet of yeast will brew up to 5 gal.

Making the Wine
1 pint Elderflowers
3 Lemons (Grated Rind & Juice)
1 gallon Water
2 Campden Tablets
2 1/2 lb Sugar
1 sachet Wine Yeast
1tsp Yeast Nutrient
1 tsp Tannin

1. Put ELDERFLOWER HEADS into a fermenting bin,add LEMON RIND and pour on boiling WATER and leave to cool.
2. Add LEMON JUICE and 1 crushed CAMPDEN TABLET.Cover and leave for 3 days,stiring daily.
3. Strain liquid into a clean fermenting bin and add SUGAR,TANNIN,WINE YEAST and YEAST NUTRIENT.Cover and leave to ferment for 6 days in a warm place stiring daily.
4. Strain into a demijohn and insert an air lock.Put in a warm place and allow to ferment until bubbles cease to form in the air lock.
5. Syphon into a clean demijohn avoiding sediment,add 1 crushed CAMPDEN TABLET and top up with cold boiled water.Replace air lock and store in a cool place to clear.
6. When clear syphon into bottles avoiding any sediment and allow to mature for 6 – 9 months.

And if you’re feeling adventurous, why not try your hand at sparkling elderflower wine jelly, from the fantastic BBC program ‘Great British Menu’:

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