Dandelion Wine

I enjoy the bright sunny yellow of dandelions each spring, then harvest the blossoms to make a strong wine, really more of a liqueur. (I may be the only person in America who has imported dandelion seeds from a neighboring yard, in order to ensure a good crop the following year!)

I take 3 cups (measured firmly packed) dandelion blossoms (I don’t leave any of the stem attached—it reportedly tastes bitter), 4 cups sugar, 3/4 of a lemon (sliced, with rind still on it), and 12 cups water, and boil for 5 minutes. I put the mixture in a large jar, and when it cools to room temperature (a little warmer is okay), I add 4 1/2 tsp instant yeast. I put the jar in a relatively warm place with the lid loose for about 4 days. Then I strain out the dandelion blossoms and lemon. I leave the jar on top of my refrigerator (any room-temperature spot will do; leave the lid loose for a couple more days before tightening) for about 22 days, then I re-strain the wine and taste it to see if it’s too bitter. If so, I add honey to taste, in the range of 1-2 tsp of honey per cup of wine. Then I refrigerate it in the same jar I used to make it (I don’t put it into corked wine bottles). The wine will keep in the fridge for a full year, until the next batch is ready.

(Photo: Dandelion wine fermenting on the deck of my home in Greenville Junction, Maine.)

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