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Fungi Fizz: Elderflower Champagne Recipe

As spring and elderflower season approaches, we wanted to share our favourite recipe for this delicious sparkling elixir. Did you know that the wild yeast found on elderflowers is a type of fungi? Wild yeasts are microscopic, single-celled organisms; they are found worldwide in soils and on plant surfaces and are especially abundant in sugary mediums such as flower nectar and fruits. This type of fungi is responsible for some of our most loved delicacies; wine, champagne, beer, cheese, sourdough, kombucha etc. 

Elderflower' champagne' is naturally bubbly and lightly alcoholic. The fizziness and booziness happen when the wild yeast from the elderflower converts the sugar used in the recipe into alcohol and carbon dioxide. The finished result is a deliciously fizzy and tangy elixir perfect for warm summer days.


  • 10 litres filtered water
  • 8 large elderflower heads late in the season, or 12 large elderflower heads early in the season. 
  • 1kg Sugar (more if you want it sweeter. We like it fairly dry)
  • 3 lemons
  • 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar.
  • Plastic bucket/or a large Kilner Glass container 
  • Sieve and muslin
  • Funnel
  • Grater
  • A long spoon
  • Sterilising powder/milton
  • Empty plastic bottles (we would never usually suggest using plastic, but with elderflower champagne using glass can sometimes be dangerous - this stuff gets explosively fizzy! Empty San Pellegrino bottles work great here) 
  1. Put the water, sugar, lemon (juice, zest and some of the lemon remain) and white wine vinegar in your plastic bucket or Kilner and stir vigorously to dissolve the sugar. 
  2. Add your elderflower heads. You should treat these heads as gently as possible until you get them in the water to avoid losing the special yeast found on the petals. 
  3. Once in, give it another gentle stir and cover with something that is not air-tight, such as muslin cloth with an elastic band. 
  4. Stir well daily until all the sugar has dissolved. 
  5. After 3-5 days, the mixture should start to get some mould growing on the top, usually beginning around the floating lemon remains, don't worry if this happens; it is pretty normal and means that it's working. 
  6. Remove everything floating in the mixture with your (clean) hands. Then strain the mixture through a sieve and fine muslin to remove any bits.
  7. Finally, line your funnel with the muslin and strain the liquid directly into plastic bottles or pass through a sieve lined with muslin into a separate container and then bottle. 
  8. Store the bottles somewhere cool and dark. 
  9. The champagne will be ready in about two weeks. However, it will still keep getting fizzier for up to 4 months, so it is up to you how long you keep it before you drink it; just make sure that you gently burp it every day. 
  10. The fizz in elderflower champagne gets generated by an active yeast that keeps going, so half-drunk flat bottles just need to be put back in the fridge for a couple of days, and they will get fizzy! 
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