Elderflower Champagne

The fine summer we have had this year means the Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra) are heavy with pollen making them ideal to make Elderflower Champagne.

This recipe is very easy to make, so get cracking as the window of opportunity is closing fast and the Elderflowers my way are turning already.

This is a work in progress! I will report back whether it works or not. It’s an unusual elderflower champagne recipe and folk have privately commented that they don’t think it will work… As I like to say “Time Will Tell”. Boo to the nay-sayers.

Elderflower Champagne Recipe Ingredients

  • 2 litres of Elderflowers
  • 3 lemons (juiced)
  • 500g of granulated sugar
  • 5 litres of cold water

Elderflower Champagne Recipe Instructions

  1. Snip the flowers away from the main stalk and put in a plastic bucket or large bowl.
  2. Slice the lemons and put in the bowl along with the sugar.
  3. Next, add the cold water and stir to dissolve the sugar. Cover with a weighted plate to exclude the air, so make sure that the Elderflowers etc. are all submerged. Leave for 24-36 hours.
  4. Strain the mixture through muslin or a fine sieve, and pour into 1-litre screw-top plastic bottles that have been thoroughly cleaned and dried. Make sure you leave a 5cm gap at the top.
  5. Leave for a week four weeks and then drink.

Makes: 5 litres

Covers its past and present uses as food and medicine. Including folklore, recipes, nutrition and safety. Also included are a simple botanical profile and photo identification guide.

Further Reading


  1. I found a recipe in a very old magazine and tried this many yrs ago. It was absolutely delicious. The next time it was awful because I did not follow the same method. Stupid me.

  2. Did this work?
    Please excuse me if you said so and I missed it.
    I have read similar methods in other sites, most add store bought yeast at some point, one other site said that Elderflowers have their own wild yeast (logical when you come to think of it) on them and success depends on the quality of said wild yeast.
    Yours being my “go to” foraging site, I’m more inclined to try your recipe. So, do you rinse the flowers at all or stick them in how ever they come, bugs and all?
    Thankyou for all you do 🙂

  3. OK, well this recipe didn’t work out very well, as far as I remember. It was drinkable, but nothing special.

    I would never wash the flowers! Ever. Leave them on newspaper for about 30 mins and the critters and crawlies will walk away. Personally I’m not that squeamish. But really, I would try another recipe. I need to take this one down as it isn’t one of my successes. I also gave up alcohol back in 2013, so can’t even advise.

    • Thanks for your answer, I’ll see what I come across and report back in a few months if I try something worthwhile, I’m possibly going to try elderflower cordial too.
      Keep safe in these strange times.

  4. My family and I have been making Elderflower Champagne for years, and at least 3 generations, following an old family recipe that is very similar to the one in this article. It does work, and is absolutely delicious, but I will add a few caveats:
    1. Gather the flowers on a hot, sunny morning when the pollen is high (definitely NOT in the rain!).
    2. Pick over the flowers for insects, but DO NOT WASH (you will wash the wild yeast away). If a few insects make it into the bucket, they will be strained out by the muslin, and the alcohol will sterilise the drink.
    3. The flowers do contain their own wild yeast, and do NOT need the addition of brewing yeast.
    4. The resulting drink is drinkable after the first week (as a sweet, slightly fizzy pop), but becomes drier, more effervescent (and more alcoholic) the longer you keep it. Four weeks is ideal.
    5. My recipe contains a couple of tablespoons of white vinegar. Not sure if this is necessary?

    • Hi! I would love to see your recipe if you are willing to share? I’m sitting staring at something which just seems like 5 day old cordial and I would love to see details of what you do at each stage.

  5. Excited having found your website Robin . I just love foraging & making all sorts of produce . You’ve got me going again now . I also would like to compare Fox recipe any chance ?

Leave a comment