I have never tried Dandelion wine until last summer when friends of ours brought over a bottle to share. It was sweet and nice to sip on at the end of our dinner. They talked about how easy it was to make and I decided to give it a try myself. I always love making something new! Dandelions are also high in calcium, protein and vitamin A, not to mention the medicinal benefits to dandelion wine. Plus, it’s so easy to make!
Collecting the dandelions was easy – we have a field full! When collecting the blossoms be sure not to use any flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides! You will need about 3 quarts of dandelion flowers. We collected them in the morning so the blooms were fresh. Separate the yellow flowers from the green sepals (the little green leaves under the flowers). The green sepals are bitter in flavor and you don’t want them to put that flavor into your wine!
Put the flower petals in a one-gallon crock and pour 1 gallon of boiling water over them. Make sure the dandelion flowers are fully covered and soaking in the boiling water. Cover and steep for three days.
After three days prepare the following:
2 oranges remove the zest and cut the oranges into slices. (You can also just use the peels, which is what we did)
1 lemon, remove the zest and cut into slices. (You can also just use the peels, which is what we did)
After three days pour the flower water mixture into a large pot and add the zest of the oranges and the lemon. Bring to a boil, remove from the heat and then strain out the solids. Add 3 pounds of sugar to the pot, stir to dissolve and allow the mixture to cool.
Once the liquid has cooled add the orange and lemon slices and add 1 pound of raisins. Also add 1 package of wine yeast. Put the mixture back into your clean crock and allow to bubble for 2 days to a week. Once fermentation is complete pour the mixture into your fermentation container. Luckily my husband is a home brewer and I was able to use one of his bottles. We allowed the liquid to sit for a couple of weeks until there was no longer any bubbling.
When the fermentation has completely stopped, transfer to sterilized bottles and cap or fit with corks. Let stand for six months to a year.
Enjoy in front of the woodstove this winter or wait to enjoy it by the bonfire next summer!