A few weeks ago I set out to make a batch of dandelion wine since our yard was filling up with the flowers. It seems like every recipe I see, and had tried, contains citrus fruit and I didn’t want to use citrus. I wanted to stick with what I had locally and was in season as opposed to driving to the grocery store to get citrus which was trucked in thousands of miles. So what could I find on my land? Dandelion flowers and rhubarb! A friend had given me a huge jar of honey, so I decided this fermented beverage would end up being a mead. (Not that I’ve made mead before.) Is it mead? Or honey wine? Or something else? Whatever it is, I hope it turns out well.
Anyhow, I’m sure mead aficionados would roll their eyes at my recipe, but here it is. (Plus I’m posting it here just incase I lose the scrap of paper I have the recipe written on.)
- 8 cups fresh dandelion flowers
- 8 cups rhubarb, cut to about 1″ or 2″ pieces
- 3 cups honey
- 1 cup organic cane sugar
- filtered water to make 2 gallons
- 1 Tbls Black Tea
- Red Star Pasteur Blanc Yeast
Add the dandelion flowers and rhubarb to a large pot and added enough water to cover them (about 1 gallon.) Bring to a boil, then turn off heat and let the mixture sit for 24 hours, stirring occasionally.
Remove organic matter, I mean the dandelion flowers and rhubarb.
Add 3 cups of honey and 1 cup organic cane sugar.
I also added 1 tablespoon of a strong black tea (Scottish blend is what I used). I had read how adding black tea to some fruit wines will add tannins and give it a little more body.
I brought this to a low boil and mixed it well to make sure the honey and sugar dissolved and blended well. Next I cooled the mix to around 100° – 105° F.
While it cools, dissolve the yeast in 1/4 cup of water at 100° – 105° F. Then add to the cooled mixture.
I put the mixture into a 2+ gallon bucket with an airlock in the lid and let it sit until it quit bubbling. Actually, I think I let it sit longer from whenever it stopped bubbling. It turns out that from the time of making it, to bottling it was exactly 20 days.
As you can see in the photo I was able to get six wine bottles from the batch, plus I used two of my 16 oz. swingtop beer bottles so it will be easier to test a smaller amount as it ages.
When I sampled it while I was bottling, I seemed like it could turn out to be a pretty nice beverage once it ages. It seems like it has the potential to be clean and crispy and not overly sweet like other dandelion wines I’ve made. I will keep you posted once it ages and I test some!