You've probably heard of elderberry wine, but have you ever heard of elderberry champage? This recipe uses the elderberry flowers to make a delicious drink. NGA education staffer Keri Evjy delighted us all with a batch of elderberry champagne for the office this spring. Needless to say, little work was done afterwards. Enjoy!
Put elderberry flower heads in a sterile, food-grade, primary fermentation vessel. (Tofu buckets work well.) Pour the water over the flowers and add the sugar, lemon juice, and chopped lemon rinds. Stir with a clean metal spoon until sugar is completely dissolved. Let soak for 24 to 36 hours, stirring a few times throughout this period. Strain the solution through a sterile muslin cloth. Pour into clean plastic bottles filled 3/4 of the way to the top. Squeeze out the remaining air in the top of the bottle with your hands to provide room for carbonation. Keep bottles in a cool, dark place for 2 to 4 weeks before enjoying.