Many people have heard of dandelion wine, but not many have had the pleasure of actually tasting it—or making it! This recipe captures the sunny color of spring's dandelion flowers in a bottle. Despite the sugar in the recipe, once fully fermented the result is a deliciously dry wine. If you've never made wine before, be prepared to be patient—fermenting takes about two years.
- 2 quarts dandelion flowers
- 1 gallon (3.78 liters) filtered water
- 3 lemons, juice and zest
- 3 oranges, juice and zest
- 1 1/2 pounds (680 grams) sugar
- 3/4 pound (340 grams) golden raisins (chopped)
- 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient, or 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- Optional: simple syrup
- Snip off most of the calyxes (green parts) from the base of the flowers and all of the stems. It’s okay if a little of the green goes in, but too much will result in a bitter wine. Compost or discard the calyxes and stems. Put the trimmed petals in a non-reactive vessel (no aluminum, copper, or iron).
- Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the flower petals. Let the mixture sit for 2 hours. Place a colander lined with cheesecloth or butter muslin over a large, non-reactive pot and strain the dandelions, pressing gently on the flowers to extract as much of the liquid as possible. Compost or discard the dandelion petals.
- Place the pot over high heat and bring the strained dandelion infusion to a boil. Stir in the citrus juices and sugar, mixing to dissolve the sugar. Add the lemon and orange zest and the chopped raisins. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool.
- When the mixture has cooled to room temperature, stir in the yeast nutrient or cornmeal. Cover and leave at room temperature for 10 to 14 days, stirring 3 times each day.
- Strain into a sanitized one-gallon jug and seal with either a fermentation lock (available from online homebrewing and winemaking supplies) or a balloon with a single pinprick in it. The pinprick allows gasses to escape during active fermentation, but the balloon still keeps detrimental bacteria out.
- After 3 weeks, siphon or carefully pour the liquid into another sanitized jug, leaving behind any yeasty sediment. If there are more than 2 inches between the top of the wine and the rim of the bottle, top off with a simple syrup of equal parts sugar and water.
- When the wine is clear rather than cloudy, wait 30 more days and then siphon or carefully pour it into another jug, leaving behind any yeasty sediment on the bottom. Refit with an airlock or pricked balloon. Repeat this procedure every 3 months for 9 months until almost no sediment is forming on the bottom of the jug anymore.
- Funnel into sanitized bottles. Cork the bottles (you might want to get a hand-corker from a winemaking supply company. They are cheap and do a much better job of securely corking the bottles).
- Age for another year before drinking. Dandelion wine is worth the wait!
|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
|Total Fat||0 g|
|Saturated Fat||0 g|
|Unsaturated Fat||0 g|
|Dietary Fiber||2 g|