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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.