Recipe: Another fizz success- lemon balm champagne
This was possibly the easiest of all the fizz flavours we've tried so far to make. The result has a lovely delicate, slightly floral flavour that nobody guessed was lemon balm but everyone really liked.
It's probably got the closest "wine" type flavour of any of the drinks we've made early in fermentation- of course, if you leave any of them to ferment out all the sugar for a couple of weeks, the alcohol content goes right up and they all taste a lot more like wine. But for a sophisticated, wine-like flavour with very low alcohol, this is a really good option.
If you're more into cocktails and haven't yet tried it, the mint and lime fizz is probably the one for you (it also works really well with lemon).
This lemon balm fizz took a few days longer to get fermenting properly than the other recipes have- indicating it didn't get as much wild yeast into it early on. That's probably not a reflection on the lemon balm- it's just chance that the yeasts didn't go in in such large numbers. Slower fermentation isn't an issue at all, it just meant it took a bit longer to get fizzy- so if your drink seems to be gaining bubbles slowly, as long as it's not going mouldy don't worry, it will get there as the yeasts multiply and start to produce bubbles (and alcohol) faster and faster.
Lemon balm fizz
5 stems of lemon balm, about 30cm long each
1 cup sugar
2tbsp wine vinegar or cider vinegar
You will also need
A sieve or clean cloth for straining
A large jug for measuring and pouring
A cup for measuring
A tablespoon for measuring
A large bowl or pan
A clean teatowel
String to tie the teatowel on to the bowl (optional)
A funnel to help pour into the bottles (optional)
A clean 2l fizzy drink bottle, or 2x 1l fizzy drink bottles
Tear up the lemon balm stems roughly
Put all the ingredients into the large bowl or pan and stir a bit
Cover with the teatowel (tie the teatowel on if you wish to prevent it from getting knocked into the bowl)
Leave in a safe place for 2 days
Strain through the sieve or cloth into the measuring jug
Pour into the bottles
Screw the caps on tightly
Leave for 3 days-2 weeks at room temperature, checking at least daily
As the bottles start to feel pressurised (they will go hard), release pressure by unscrewing the lid to let some of the gas out. This will prevent accidental explosions.
Taste the drink every few days to see if you think it is ready.
When you are happy with the flavour, chill and serve
This drink will become increasingly alcoholic as it ferments. If you intend to share it with children, only give it to them at the very beginning of fermentation as it starts to become fizzy- at this point the alcohol content will be very low. You can tell when the alcohol content is getting higher because the drink will get less sweet- the yeasts use up the sugar to produce alcohol and carbon dioxide. And, you'll probably be able to smell or taste the alcohol too, of course.
Come back in a few more days for our next fizz experiment installments- lavender and thyme (not both together, though that could be interesting, too...)