At this time of year the Elder comes into flower and this makes the most exciting drink. Be warned though; crush the flowers in your hand, if it smells of cats move on to the next tree. There are male and female trees out there, but only choose the flowers of the tree/bush that does not smell of cats.
- 6 heads of elderflowers, trimmed from their stalks with scissors or plucked off.
- 680g/1½lb granulated sugar
- 2tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 lemon, juice and grated or thinly pared rind. NB Avoid the pith
- 1 gallon water (You will need a clean container, not necessarily a glass Demi-john)
- Mix all the ingredients together and allow to steep for 48 hours.
- Strain and then bottle using screw top bottles e.g. plastic lemonade/coke bottles.
- Keep for 2 weeks, by which time it should be highly effervescent on opening.
- Do not expect the champagne to ever be clear, as it will always be cloudy.
- Do not keep in the hope of improving. I would suggest you drink with a few friends on a warm evening and enjoy the flower and company.