Elderberry Flower Wine / Socată

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Posted By: Dan Petra
Posted In:  Beverages
Page Views:  5077 views
Preparation Time:  30 minutes
Cooking Time:  30 minutes
Course: lunch/snacks

Other Info

servings: 10-20





20 c


5 L





Large elderberry flowers


3-4 c


500-750 g


1. In a large pot, bring half the water to a boil with the sugar and the juice from two lemons.

2. While water is heating, wash lemons and grate the zest.

3. If using fresh elderberry flowers, gently wash them, or shake them to remove most insects.

4. When the water has boiled, stir well for 2-3 minutes, and then turn off the flame.

5. Add the lemon zest, flowers, the juice from the remaining lemons, and the rest of the water to the pot and stir well.

6. When liquid has cooled to room temperature, pour into a large clean glass jar. Cover the jar with a clean cloth and secure it with a string or rubber band.

7. Put the jar in a place where it won’t be in your way, and is out of direct sunlight. You will notice that the flowers and lemon bits will sink to the bottom of the jar.

8. Stir the jar 2-3 times a day – every day until it is “ready”.

9. After 2-4 days (depending on temperature and other conditions in your apartment) the liquid will start to ferment. It will be obvious when fermentation starts, because the flowers and bits of lemon will rise in a bubbly mass to the top of the jar.

10. When the liquid is “ready” – usually 3-6 days, remove the flowers (or strain it), bottle it in clean bottles, and store it in the refrigerator to stop fermentation. It should last at least 1-2 weeks.


Notes: Dried Elderberry flowers can be used the same as fresh – you may find them in your market in this form (look for old ladies selling herbs). If you want to use fresh flowers, you may have to pick them yourself. Go with someone who knows what they are doing the first time, so you don’t make yourself sick with the wrong thing. Look for trees that are away from the road to avoid dust and pollution from car exhaust (stream banks are a good place to look).


During the fermentation process, we recommend that you taste the liquid every day. When you like the flavor, it’s “ready”. Some people prefer not to ferment their drink at all, and after cooling the liquid simply bottle it. If you ferment the liquid, it lowers the sugar content (wild yeasts eat the sugar) and the drink becomes slightly alcoholic and carbonated (maybe 2-3%). If you wait too long before bottling, the fermentation process will stop, and you will have vinegar – the flowers will sink to the bottom of the jar, and the liquid will taste very bad at this point.


Variations: You can adjust the amount of sugar, lemon etc. in this recipe to suit your taste. Instead of juicing the last 2 lemons, you may like to just slice them and add them to the liquid.

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