Making your own booze is ridiculously easy, and you need very little in the way of specialist equipment. In fact, this recipe even requires you to drink some booze in order to make it, as you’ll need some bottles with swing-tops, and the cheapest way to acquire those is to buy some beer (Grolsch, for example, uses these).
Once you’re done with the beer, or perhaps whilst you enjoy it on a picnic, go and seek out some Elderflower. These are in season and the moment, and can be found up in hedgerows and the edges of fields across the land.
This recipe will help you make Elderflower Champagne, well, strictly speaking, Elderflower Sparkling Wine, which is delicious, bubbly, and crisp. It’s the perfect accompaniment to a BBQ or picnic and easily keeps for a few weeks (but be sure to release the pressure in the bottles if you’re doing this).
800g white sugar
Juice of 4 lemons
Zest of 4 lemons
5g sachet of Sparkling Wine Yeast (which you can get here)
8 bunches of elderflowers
5litres of water
- Take a clean bucket (with a lid) or fermentation bin, and add 2litres of boiling water. Dissolve the sugar in the water, and then top it up with an additional 3litres of cold water. Leave until it cools to room temperature.
- Once cool, add the elderflowers (which you’ve cleaned for insects), the lemon juice and lemon zest, and sprinkle over the yeast. Cover and leave to ferment.
- After 5-7 days of fermentation, strain the liquid through muslin and into another clean bucket. Cover the mixture for a couple of hours, allowing any sediment to fall to the bottom. After that time, syphon off the mixture and put into swing-top bottles.
- After a week, you can drink it, and if not, put it in the fridge. This will slow down the production of carbon dioxide and will stop the bottles from, well, exploding. It’s not a bad idea to release the pressure in the bottles from time to time if you are keeping it, but it is much better enjoyed within a couple of weeks of production.