Making elderflower champagne

Gathering flowers

Picking elderflowersAfter scanning the local countryside for the leafy green weed of a tree I was surprised not to find a single one nearby and so, on a recent trip to visit my parents, picked a good many flower heads from the trees growing along their river. It was a rainy afternoon and I got rather saturated in the process, I hope the end result is worth it.

Preparing the ingredients

Now that we have the flowers (only available in October - December) we can combine with the other ingredients. As I have 12 x 745ml old brown beer bottles I am making 9 liters.

  • 7 liters of cold water
  • Juice and rind of 4 lemons
  • 2kg white sugar dissolved in 2 liters of hot water
  • A pile of elder flowers
  • A tiny sprinkle of regular bread yeast

Combine together is a sterile plastic vessel with airtight lid.


Keep the brewing vessel in a warmish location out of the way. Check the brew from time to time and release any built up pressure. After a few days it is ready to strain and bottle.

Bottling of elderflowerBottling

Use a fine cloth or sieve to remove flowers, any stalks, leaves and lemon rinds. Pour though a funnel into bottles and cap. Store the bottles in a cool place so the fermentation slows / stops. If the fermentation continues it will make the end product taste yeasty and will make it so fizzy that opening the bottles becomes messy and potentially dangerous. I have had a glass bottle explode under its own internal pressure. WATCH OUT!

  1. Create of old beer bottles
  2. Red funnel :)
  3. Brewing barrel
  4. Finished bottle of brew
  5. Spare caps
  6. Capping leaver


I opened my first bottle after 6 days of fermentation to see how it was going and it sure was fizzy. I lost about a third of the bottle out the top as foam.




Details  Fast growing multi stemmed small tree with flat clusters of small white flowers in late spring.
Common name  Elderberry - European Elder
Botanical name  Sambucus nigra
Family  Caprifoliaceae
Height (m)  6
Diameter  6.00
Fruit / berries  
Wind tolerance  Low
Shade / Sun  Full sun - Shade
Soil type  Most
Flowers  White