My first foray into wine making started with dandelion blossom wine last April when my garden dandelions were particularly plentiful. I made a batch using wild fermentation and have been waiting impatiently for it to age. It’s finally ready now! And it turned out pretty good. We tried it after Christmas dinner as a dessert wine, and it tastes like summer sunshine, mildly sweet and lightly herby. Unfortunately, I didn’t write down the exact recipe, so I’ll have to cobble it together again. Here’s my best approximation:
2-4 cups dandelion blossoms
3 cups sugar
1 gallon water
1 cup dried apricots or raisins
Knob of ginger
zest of 1-2 lemons or oranges
1 package wine yeast (optional)
Gather the dandelion blossoms someplace that has not been treated with chemicals. There seems to be some debate about whether the green leaves and base of the flower should be removed since they have a bitter flavor. I removed mine, though I won’t lie, it was a lot of work. Next time I’ll do a batch of each to compare.
Put dandelion blossoms into a large bowl or bucket (do not use metal!) Boil the water and pour over the dandelions. Cover with a cloth and wait 48 hours. You should see some bubbling that indicates that fermentation has begun after this time. (If using wine yeast, add after water cools down.)
Add sugar, a few handfuls of chopped apricots or raisins, and some organic ginger if desired. Wait another 3-5 days. The mass should continue to bubble and ferment.
Strain out the solids and fill liquid into a clean demijohn or other non-metal gallon size container with an airlock.
Wait. And then wait some more. The wine will turn a golden yellow and bubbling should slow down. Allow dandelion wine to age at least 6 months, longer is fine. After fermentation has slowed, the wine can be bottled. Use sturdy glass bottles or food-grade plastic bottles. If fermentation is still somewhat active, release pressure periodically by “burping” the bottle to prevent culinary explosions.
If you try making your own dandelion wine, we would love to know how it turns out. Please let us know in the comments!
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