I took this recipe – and the photo – from the excellent Colour It Green website, lots of useful information on home livestock and crafts as well as an ever growing collection of recipes.
3 litres nettle tips – about half a carrier bag
2 litres water
Pick only the top 4-6 nettle leaves. I didn’t bother stripping leaves from stalks.
Put in a large pan with water and the lemon peel, boil for about 45 minutes.
Strain on to the sugar, add juice of a lemon, stir to dissolve and cover until cool enough to add the yeast. I used a heaped teaspoon of wine yeast with nutrient.
Cover and leave in a warm place for 3 or 4 days.
Put in fizzy drinks bottles, e.g. sparkling water bottles, and leave to stand for a couple of days. Check the bottles daily and if they feel tight carefully unscrew caps to release a little pressure.
Less than a week from picking to drinking and the result is delicious, with a hint of ginger beer flavour. I don’t have a hydrometer but it seemed to be very low in alcohol.
I used the left over nettle pulp to make nettle pesto
As an added bonus I left an emptied bottle, with a little yeast residue in the bottom, on the kitchen worktop and the next morning, in full sun, the yeast had developed a good strong head, so I used it to bake bread. A happy accident.