How to make Elderflower Wine

  • 3 large heads of elderflower florets
  • 250ml white grape concentrate
  • 1 kg white sugar
  • 5g citric acid
  • 5g grape tannin
  • Gervin No 3 Champagne yeast
  • 1 level teaspoon yeast nutrient
  • 1 vitamin B1 tablet
  • Campden tablets
  • Water to 1 gallon

What Elderflowers are best to use?

  • Check before you pick the flowers that they are a variety suitable for winemaking, as some have a very unpleasant smell!
  • They should be light and fragrantly scented, not ‘catty’.
  • Pinch a floret between your fingers and check the nose; this is the nose that the finished wine will have.
  • Always pick when the sun is out, and the flowers are dry and fully open.

Day 1

  • Strip the florets from the stalks and place them in a bucket.
  • Add 4 pints (2.25 litres) of boiling water and leave covered for two days, stirring at least twice daily.

Day 3

  • On the third day, dissolve the sugar in 2 pints (1.13 litres) of warm water and pour into a sterilised demijohn.
  • Strain off the flowers adding the liquid to the demijohn along with the white grape concentrate, tannin, citric acid, nutrient and B1 tablet.
  • Top up the demijohn to the shoulder with cold water, and add the yeast.
  • Fit an airlock and bung and leave the wine at the correct temperature, 18-22 °C, until the fermentation is complete.

After Fermentation

  • Syphon the wine off the sediment into a clean demijohn.
  • Top up to the shoulder with cool water if necessary.
  • Add a Campden tablet and leave it to mature in a cool place.
  • Rack at three-month intervals and add another Campden tablet if there is sediment at the bottom.

Ending Notes

This wine is drinkable in 9 months but is better left for a year.

Do not be tempted to use a greater quantity of elderflowers in this recipe.

Elderflowers are very easy to collect, but if you use too many you may find that the strong bouquet spoils the wine.