Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Cordial, Beer and Champagne

After spotting that the Elderflowers were out, we decided to have a bash at making Elderflower cordial and champagne. I also fancied making some Ginger Beer – something my mum always used to do when it got warm.

My son was great at picking the flowers (it’s always best to pick fresh ones without bugs on them) and we soon had a big bagful. On the way home we grabbed the rest of the ingredients, which was mainly sugar, yeast, oranges and lemons from the shops.

Elderflower Cordial being prepared
These are all really simple recipes and we made 2 Gallons of Ginger Beer, 1 Gallon of Elderflower Champagne and a couple of litres of Elderflower Cordial in one afternoon.
For Recipes, Click Here

Elderflower Champagne prepping - this smelled delicious
You need bottles that can withstand high pressure; otherwise they can explode and make a bad mess, so be careful what you use. I wanted swing top Grolsh type bottles but this would have been expensive and I couldn’t drink it quickly enough. In the end I used sparkling water and a couple of old coke bottles, which worked fine and they can be used again.

Lloyd, the Yeast Arab

Most shops now have a cheap home brand of sparkling water and I obtained 4 packs of six 500ml for about a fiver. If I had thought about it before, I could have used the water in the recipes too.

We Made Buckets of The Stuff
When my wife came home the next day, she said the house smelled like a brewery – but Ginger beer and Elderflower Champagne always remind me of Gingham and wicker and English summer picnics!
This looks a lot but I don't think it will last long, my daughter is sampling it already!

I also saw nesting Housemartins and Swifts today, so summer is on the way for sure...

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