Monday, 12 August 2019

Meadow Sweet Champagne/Sparkling Wine

This year I was a little bit gutted that I just didn't get round to making any elder flower champagne like I did last year. 

Meadow Sweet
But then a thought hit me as I was driving down the country lanes where we live. I wonder if I can make something with the amazing smelling Meadow Sweet that seems to be growing on every verge around here. 


I did some quick research on google and was pleased to see that others had tried this first and that it was pretty good! Although it can be a bit of a marmite drink - you either love it or hate it! 

Time to get harvesting. As it was the first day of the school holidays I thought this might make a good start to the break for them. Unfortunately I seemed to pick the wettest of July mornings to harvest the flowers but that didn't seem to make much difference to the flowers, the kids decided to stay in the truck while I got soaked picking them though! 



For this I was going to make a rough and ready "wine", it's more like how you'd make a easy ginger beer really. 

Very few ingredients and a simple method. 
40-60 heads of meadow sweet,
Juice of 3 lemons
700g of sugar
Teaspoon of yeast nutrients 
Teaspoon of wine Yeast
2 litres of boiling water
3 litres of cold water


I didn't have any yeast nutrients so instead I got a teaspoon of our fast acting bread yeast and killed it with boiling water and added that instead. 

I put the flowers in a sterilised bucket, pulling the flower heads from the stems. I then tipped over the boiling water added the lemon juice, sugar and nutrients. I then topped up with the cold water, stirring to make sure all the sugar is dissolved. 

I let this cool to body temperature and added in the wine yeast. Then cover the bucket and let it do it's thing for seven days. 

Girls having a sample and helping!

When you check on it the mixture in the bucket should be bubbling by day 2 really, otherwise you might have to think about adding some more yeast. 

Once that week is up I then add strain it off and put in plastic bottles that can have fizz in them. I find this much safer than glass after having some beer explode a few years ago. Put this somewhere cool for a couple of weeks, you might have to "burp" it if the pressure gets too much. This just means to open the bottle and let out some gas. 

After a few weeks have past put the bottles in the fridge. This should stop them fermenting anymore. 


Then it's ready to drink! It won't be the strongest wine you've ever drunk but fresh from the fridge we found it a refreshingly clean tasting drink, much like elder flower wine, with a good fizz! Done this way there is a fair bit of sediment in the bottom so careful how you pour it out!

Who else has made anything from Meadow Sweet? 

2 comments:

  1. I always mean to pick meadowsweet and make a cordial at least, but I always seem to miss it. Next year!

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    Replies
    1. It's easy to kiss these things though! The onlybreas9n I made this was because I forgot to make anything with elderflower! Want to try this recipe with ginger next.

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