Lightly sweet and deliciously fizzy, this homemade honey-sweetened elderflower champagne is a fun way to increase your summer nutrition!
My family has been living in the south for almost six years now. Though I’m a southerner by birth, I love living in the north. Not only do I enjoy the cold and snow, I like the fact that there’s a time of year when pretty much everything is dead.
Not to be morbid, but I am always looking forward to getting a break from my allergies. And down here in the south, I rarely do. Reason being: there is *always* something blooming.
While this isn’t the best for my allergies, it is rather beautiful to always see flowers and growing things. And bonus! I don’t have to actually try to get things to grow down here (in fact, everything I try to grow dies, so I just let nature take its course). One of my favorite growing things down here is elderberry.
I never saw elderberry wild living up in the wild northern regions of the United States (a.k.a. Montana). But down here in the south it is everywhere. I love driving down the road and seeing it grow wild. And I love that I have it growing in my backyard.
Though I like to let the flowers go and turn into dark, amazingly nutritious berries, I recently learned that the flowers themselves are full of nutritional value. In fact, elderflower has been used traditionally the world over for to its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties. It’s commonly used for a remedy for colds and flu, sinus infections, and other respiratory issues (like seasonal allergies) due to its antibacterial and antiviral properties. Elderflowers are also rich in the bioflavonoids quercetin, isoquercitrin and anthocyanins.
While elderberries are used to boost the immune system during cold and flu season in order to *keep* you from getting sick (though elderberry syrup has been known to shorten the duration of viruses), elderflowers are said to be most effective when you’re already sick.
Honey-sweetened elderflower champagne.
Though it sounds a little complicated and rather alcoholic, elderflower champagne is really neither. I like to harvest my elderflowers fresh from my backyard, but you can get them dried off Amazon. Either dried or fresh work for this recipe. The elderflowers, lemons, and honey in this recipe lend themselves to a bubbly, slightly sweet, floral lemonade-ish drink.
If you follow this recipe, the alcohol content of the end result elderflower champagne should be between 3-5% (less than a beer and significantly less than regular champagne). My kids enjoy it without any issues, and because of the nutrition they’re getting from the elderflowers, I let them have at it!
More deliciously fizzy paleo drinks.
If flowery drinks aren’t your thing, or you love this recipe and want more like it, here are a few more fun drinks you can make at home. They’re all paleo and 100% family-friendly!
- Anti-Inflammatory Mixed Berry Switchel
- Cranberry Apple Switchel
- Homemade Mango Soda
- Spiced Apple Kombucha
- Fizzy Ginger Lemonade
- Probiotic Elderberry Kefir
- Basic Water Kefir
- Honey Sima
In the recipe card I’ve linked to some of the products from my affiliate partners that I like to use. Purchasing through these links won’t cost you anything extra. Thanks!
Honey-Sweetened Elderflower Champagne
Free from grain, gluten, eggs, dairy, and refined sugar.
- 2 quart filtered water
- lemons, thinly sliced (2 small or 3 large)
- 2 large heads of elderflowers, washed *
- 1/2 cup honey
In medium saucepan, bring water to boil. Add in lemons an elderflowers and remove from heat.
Once the water is warm, but not hot, stir in honey and cool completely.
Pour mixture into jars (I use regular wide-mouth mason canning jars) and cover with a cheesecloth or t-shirt. Let sit on the counter for 24 hours.
After 24 hours, strain into bottles and cap tightly. I use these flip-top ones, but you can just use mason jars with canning lids, if you want.
Ferment on counter for a week +, then transfer to the fridge and enjoy when chilled!
* While I love using fresh elderflowers, you can used dried organic elderflowers (buy them here).
Looks delicious! We have elderberries all over the place here in North Idaho. We gather them for the berries every year late summer/early fall, but have never collected the flowers. Gonna get some and try this!
Yay! I hope you enjoy it, Sally!
What a beautiful, light and refreshing drink!
Thank you, Krissy! 🙂
This is incredible! I can’t wait to make this for my next brunch! Talk about a show stopper!
Thank you, Tracy! I hope you enjoy it!
I recently made this recipe, and it is delicious! Like a floral lemonade.
I left it to ferment for two weeks, but I don’t think it fermented. It didn’t go bad, but there were no bubbles at all.
Should I have left it for longer?
The only thing I changed in the recipe was that I used a lot more flowers, as I had so many… Oh, and I did leave it for 48 hours before bottling as well, as I hadn’t sterilised the bottles.
It could be because the bottles weren’t sterilized. But I really couldn’t say. Is it cold in your house? It does take things longer to ferment when it’s cold (like, below 75-ish). Sorry it didn’t get bubbly for you! I’m glad you were able to enjoy it anyway!
What a delightful idea! This would be such a hit at dinner parties – my friends are going to adore it.
Thanks, Alexandra! It would definitely be a fun drink for a dinner party. 🙂
I am refreshed. This is unique and a never tried one too. Love the color. I am drooling.
Thank you, Veena! 🙂
Definitely one of my personal faves to make in summer! Love your version with honey!
Save some to dry for tea — elderflower medicine is powerful flu + fever fighter
Thanks so much for the tip, Carol! My kids will love having it for tea!
Wow just 4 ingredients?! I need to try this as I always crave bubbly drinks!
It’s sooo easy and tasty! I hope you get to enjoy it, Joni!
Wow, you have so many great fermented drinks..I am on the hunt for a elderberry bush around me!!!
Haha! Thanks, Tessa! I hope you find some!
Sounds sooo refreshing for the summer. I’ve never used elderberry in a recipe but sounds amazing.
It’s quite refreshing and deliciously nutritious! 😉
I am so making this! I wasn’t sure if you could use dried flowers. I need to pull my bag of them out of my herb box! 🙂
I hope you enjoy it! My family is constantly begging for it. Haha.
At first, this recipe caught my eye because of elderflower (which I love the flavour of) but then I realised it was a fermented drink and I love the idea of an alcohol-free champagne-like beverage. I’m always looking for a fun drink alternative and would love to make this for a summer party. Thanks for sharing!
You’re so welcome, Irena! I hope you enjoy it!
How interesting! I hadn’t thought of using the flowers for anything.
We do have elderberries growing in the wild here in Southern Ontario (father south than Montana). My husband likes find them and try to beat the birds to the berries, so I can make him an elderberry pie.
Haha! Yeah, I try and beat the birds to them every year, too. They usually win. :p The flowers are actually really tasty! I hope you get to try this, Cathy. 🙂
Oh wow, this sounds and looks so beautiful! I’m definitely saving this! Thank you 🙂
Thank you, Ivana! I hope you get to enjoy it!
this sounds so yummy and refreshing!
Thank you! 🙂
What a fun idea. I never knew you could do this with elderberry. Can’t wait to try!
I hope you get to enjoy it, Kelly!
This is such a great idea! I love the taste of elderflower it is so refreshing!
I agree, it is! Thanks, Hope!
What a truly PRETTY recipe, Raia. So lovely. I didn’t know about this beverage and enjoyed learning more about elderflowers too. It feels so good to forage and produce something so beautiful and healthy.
Thank you, Megan! I agree, it’s envigorating to be able to gather from your backyard and make something fun!
I’m totally making this for this summer. It’ looks so refreshing and delicious!
Thank you, ChihYu! I hope you enjoy it!
I LOVE elderflower flavored anything. This drink looks so refreshing and delicious!
Thanks, Jenni! I hope you get to enjoy it!
I’ve been seeing so many recipes for Elderflowers! I heard they are native to where I live, but I haven’t seen them. I think I’m going to have to go foraging so I can make this yummy drink.
I hope you can find some so that you can give this a try!
I love fizzy drinks! I can’t wait to try one with elderflower. It looks so very refreshing and pretty with the flowers.
Thanks, Stacey! I hope you get to enjoy it!
This looks and sounds absolutely divine. I’ve never had a champagne like this before.
Thank you, Kylie! It’s so yummy and refreshing!
Oh this looks so good, and we have elderberry bushes now! I have made clover champagne, so this will be fun to try!
I hope you enjoy it, Beth! It’s such a fun treat to make!
My batch formed a film on top about four days after bottling. Are you familiar with this?
Yes, it’s fine. 🙂
Thank you! Xo
How much of the dried elderflowers do you use and is there a way to make this less sweet? I’ve made it before and prefer a more herbal taste vs the highly sweet taste. Thank you!
I would probably use at least 1/2 cup of the dried elderflowers. Of course, if you want it really herb-y, you could use a cup! And you can always lessen the amount of honey down to 1/4 cup. I wouldn’t go any less than that though, because it helps with the fermentation.
Great! Thank you! Yeah I don’t want to jeopardize the bubbles because that’s the best part of the experience. Would lowering the honey affect the carbonation? I don’t know if carbonation is synonymous with fermentation. I’ma newbie 🤍
I wouldn’t think that lowering the honey during the fermentation process would affect the carbonation. As long as does have some sugar in there it should be good. 🙂