With the soggy, blustery weather we’ve been having, it may be hard to believe that spring is right around the corner! However, with our unseasonably warm weather, we are already seeing sunny dandelion flowers poking out their heads and braving the elements. To help cheer them on, here is a family recipe for wonderful dandelion wine.
This is a recipe from my Aunt Opal. It comes with many great memories, including helping her pick those beautiful sunny flowers.
3-4 quarts dandelion flowers 1 organic orange – juice and zest
2.8 pounds honey 1 pound raisins – chopped
1 gallon water ¼ teaspoon yeast nutrient
2 organic lemons – juice and zest 1 package wine yeast
To begin your dandelion wine, pick only the fully opened blossoms. Remove as much of the green stem as possible. To do this, grab the flower head in one hand and the base of the blossom with the other and twist to separate. Place flowers into a sterile 2-gallon glass or plastic container. Dissolve the honey in boiling water, skim off foam and pour it hot over the flowers. Chop raisins and add to mixture (any whole ones will swell and float). Add all other ingredients except the yeast. Cover with cloth and let cool. When the mixture is at 85º Fahrenheit, skim and squeeze juice from flowers and fruit then add the yeast.
Stir at least twice a day, mixing well. Between stirrings, keep the vessel covered with a breathable cloth held securely in place. A large rubber band works well. After four to five days, rack the fermenting juice into another container and add an air lock. When the liquid is clear and stable, you may bottle your wine.
Most wine connoisseurs will tell you to let your wine sit for 7 years. I can’t comment on that length of time as ours never lasts until then. One year is about my limit and we think it’s great! Enjoy!
~ Karen Sherwood