• * 4 litres hot water
  • * 700g sugar
  • * Juice and zest of four lemons
  • * 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar
  • * About 15 elderflower heads, in full bloom
  • * A pinch of dried yeast (you may not need this)


  • STEP 1
    Put the hot water and sugar into a large container (a spotlessly clean bucket is good) and stir until the sugar dissolves, then top up with cold water so you have 6 litres of liquid in total.
  • STEP 2
    Add the lemon juice and zest, the vinegar and the flower heads and stir gently.
  • STEP 3
    Cover with clean muslin and leave to ferment in a cool, airy place for a couple of days. Take a look at the brew at this point, and if itâÂÂs not becoming a little foamy and obviously beginning to ferment, add a pinch of yeast.
  • STEP 4
    Leave the mixture to ferment, again covered with muslin, for a further four days. Strain the liquid through a sieve lined with muslin and decant into sterilised strong glass bottles with champagne stoppers (available from home-brewing suppliers) or Grolsch-style stoppers, or sterilized screw-top plastic bottles (a good deal of pressure can build up inside as the fermenting brew produces carbon dioxide, so strong bottles and seals are essential)
  • STEP 5
    Seal and leave to ferment in the bottles for at least a week before serving, chilled. The champagne should keep in the bottles for several months. Store in a cool, dry place.

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