(It used to be called ‘champagne’ but this is now illegal apparently!)
Dissolve the sugar in a little warm water and allow to cool. Then squeeze in the juice from the lemon, cut the rind in four, put the pieces with the elder flowers in a large jug or basin, add the vinegar and pour on the rest of the water. Leave to steep for 4 days. Strain off and bottle in screw-topped bottles. It should be ready to drink in 6–10 days but test after 6 days anyway to see that it does not get too fizzy. If it fails to work leave it for another week; sometimes the natural yeast of the flowers is very slow to get going and occasionally you will get a batch that fails altogether. Some people say you should pick the flowers on a sunny day but I have picked them in the rain and had success with them.
I advise everyone to make this fragrant wine. It is really a most refreshing summer drink served chilled or with ice and lemon. This recipe was given to me by Irene Palmer.
© 1986 All rights reserved. Published by Macmillan.