We are in the process of making dandelion wine! Or should I say…the wine is made, it just needs to ferment some more before we cork it and let it rest until winter solstice.
I read quite a few recipes for how to make dandelion wine, and solicited your favorites on our facebook page (please join us on facebook!) I combined them together to do what I did. Unfortunately I do not have the ability to let you know whether this is the most amazing dandelion wine ever or not….I did take a sip as we were pouring it into bottles and I will tell you it is still very SWEET! Maybe that will mellow in time.
Here is the recipe:
- 1 gallon dandelion flower heads (I kept the greens on, I read to do it both ways (pulling the yellow petals off of the green necks and just using the petals…I used the whole thing.)
- 1 gallon water (I was going to use more but it turned out both my largest pot and largest crock could only hold a gallon, so that’s what I used.)
- 3 lbs sugar (organic sugar cane is what I used.)
- 1 packet yeast (photo below)
- 2 organic oranges, with rinds peeled and saved, the orange sliced (photos below)
- 1 organic lemon, with rinds peeled and saved, lemon sliced (photo below)
- handful of organic raisins
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 Tbsp whole cloves
2. Boil a gallon of water and pour over the dandelion blossoms. Cover loosely and let tea steep for 2 days.
3. Strain tea (reserving liquid of course! You can compost the flowers at this point) and return to the stove. Add 3 lbs of sugar, lemon and orange rinds, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to boil and simmer for about an hour.
4. Pour from pot into crock and add the sliced oranges, lemons and raisins.
5. Once it has cooled to body temperature, sprinkle a packet of yeast on top.
6. Cover with a cloth and let sit 3 days to a week (I did 3 days). When you put your ear close to it you can hear it fizzing (crackling.)
7. Strain (reserving liquid!!!!). I first strained it through a colander to get the big stuff out, then strained it through two jelly bags.
8. Let sit another day, covered with the cloth (will let extra “stuff” settle to the bottom.)
9. Pour into bottles, leaving some room at the top. Cover bottles with balloon which will indicated (by inflating) that quite a bit of fermentation is still taking place. You can poke a pin hole in each balloon so that it doesn’t get too full and pop or fly off the bottle.
10. Once the balloons stop inflating, you can cork the bottles and store in a cool dark place for at least six months.
Dandelion was my original wild ally! And though I made dandelion wine back then, it was 20 years ago. If you make dandelion wine this year, be sure to let me know how it turns out!