We’re pretty committed foodies here at Drink Dine Discover, to say the very least. It’s fair to say that we’ve never had a meeting yet that hasn’t involved a least a crunchy little biscotti or a glass of Amarone. However, although we’re known for our gourmet tours in Tuscany, it’s not just Italian food that we love, and June is a month of bounty in the British hedgerows. As the countryside turns vivid green and frothy white, our thoughts have turned to elderflowers. More specifically, being girls who love a few bubbles, to elderflower champagne.
Unless you’re very lucky, this is something that money simply can’t buy: you have to make your own. Making elderflower champagne is pretty straightforward- all you need is sugar, lemons, a splash of vinegar and yeast, then just add elderflower and water and sit back and wait for it to ferment. There are numerous recipes available, but we’ve always used this one by the delightful Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall with great success.
Our one tip? Though Hugh advocates glass bottles, it’s absolutely essential to make sure they’re flip top and we’d be tempted to go for plastic. Why? Well, if you forget a stray bottle and leave it lurking deep in the depths of the larder, the pressure keeps building, and one day, like a friend of ours, you’ll end up with shards of glass embedded in the wall and a sticky mess on the floor.
After a week or two, your fizz’ll be ready to drink. And if you simply can’t wait that long? There’s always elderflower fizz: just take elderflower cordial and add it to your favourite champagne.