Things that are made

Despite the somewhat failure (I mean at least it was edible..) of our cheese project Robin and I decided to try to make some other consumables by hand. This time we stayed away from foods and focused on drinks instead – trying our hands at making nettle beer, elderflower cordial and elderflower champagne. Well, I can happily report that we make much better brewers than cheese makers…if you discount a couple of bottles of nettle beer exploding all over my bathroom that is. Anyways, for you viewing pleasure I know present “Robin and Becky Make Things, Take 2.”

Starting with nettle beer, the first thing we had to do was pick the stinging nettles. I learned some useful tips like if you are unsure if something is a nettle, touch it! If it hurts you have found yourself a nettle.

Robin bravely picking stinging nettles.

With nettles in tow we began the actual process of making nettle beer. You more or less make really sweet nettle tea and then add yeast to it. It sounds easy enough, but working with boiling liquid and squeamish Brits has its challenges.

Boiling the nettles.

Squeezing out the tea. It was very hot.

Add lemon to taste and let it sit out for a few days.

Look at that two-handed lemon squeezing technique!

After some quality fermenting has taken place all that is left to do is bottle the stuff up. Tah dah!

The finished product.

Now if all that seemed to complicated, fear not! Making elderflower cordial and champagne is even easier and there is no risk of getting stung! First you have to stroll through parks and collect some pretty elderflower heads. Next soak them in water with sugar and lemon.

Elderflowers becoming delicous.

If all you want is cordial, let it sit for a day and then drink away! If you want champagne put it into bottles and let them hangout for a while. The elderflowers are naturally yeasty and will get to work on converting those sugars into bubbly deliciousness. Enjoy!

Much better than the cheese.


About rbelisle

A bee researcher moving from Boston to Bath. Trying to make a difference in a world full of b's.
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