Lilac, Lemon & Raspberry Champagne
The lilacs are in full swing, but if you’re not careful you may miss the season! These beautiful flowers span from icy white to deep purple. The different shades each have their own meaning. White represents the innocence and purity of life. Lilac represents a first love, in fact Victorian widows were often seen wearing lilacs when they were in mourning. Dark purple represents passion and happiness.
Did you know that the Celts perceived the lilac to be magical due to its fragrance? It is also believed that it is unlucky to bring lilacs in the house, something which my own mother believes to this day!
– 2 ltr water
– 60ml lemon juice or two fresh lemons
– Eight raspberries
– Four full blooms of lilac (any colour)
– 300g sugar
– 1 Teaspoon of citric acid
– A pinch of wine yeast
The ingredients above will give you a lightly floral, yet zingy summer drink. You can omit the citric acid if you do not have any to hand, along with the wine yeast if you would prefer a flat beverage rather than carbonated. Lilacs do not contain natural yeast, unlike elderflowers. This recipe will make just over two 750ml bottles.
As previously mentioned, when foraging for anything try not to take more than one flower steam from each cluster. Also, avoid foraging in any areas that would have been sprayed with weed killer and have a high areas of traffic.
Firstly, put the water in the pan along with the sugar and citric acid. Make sure this has fully dissolved, then add the lemon, raspberries and wine yeast if you are using it. Let this simmer away whilst you are preparing your lilac flowers, stirring intermittently.
To prepare the flowers, all you need to do is remove them from the stem (checking for any bugs as you do so). Try to remove as much greenery as possible, although a few bits here and there will not change the flavour of the final drink. Give the flower heads a quick rinse and add them into the mixture.
Once the flowers have been added, let this simmer away on a low temperature for around half an hour; stirring every few minutes. You will then need to let this sit for a few days, so the yeast has time to work and the lilac flavour infuses with the rest of the mixture. Make sure you cover the pan with a tea towel or muslin cloth. You will know the yeast has worked when the flowers have risen.
Next you will need to strain the mixture few a muslin cloth to ensure that you don’t get any flowers or other bits in your final drink.
Now all you need to do is bottle up your drink and enjoy! This will store for a few months, but why wait that long?
Many thanks to Working For the Good Life for the inspiration.
If you make this recipe, please comment below with how you get on.