Humans have been enjoying dandelion wine for centuries, and if you haven’t tried it, you’re in for a treat. Here’s how you make it.
Dandelion wine has strong roots in Europe, is an Italian-American tradition, and is beloved as a country wine. One of its most endearing qualities is the fact that it can be made from easy to reach and inexpensive ingredients.
In the spring of the year when most folks are thinking about how to rid themselves of this fast growing and ever-spreading weed, others have one idea in mind: pick it and make some wine!
While there’s more to it than that, which we will explore shortly, have a try at this informative video (it’s a bit long at 13 minutes) and get your taste buds ready.
As Globe Correspondent Jocelyn Ruggiero said so eloquently, “These petals are transformed into wine that looks like golden sunlight and tastes like springtime” To do so one must begin at the beginning so to speak-start picking the golden heads as they pop out, weather depending, between April and May after which they begin to become the puffy seed-heads that we’ve all picked and blown into the wind.
You’ll need at least a gallon bucket of the petals to start. Now you need to boil water in a large pot. Next, put the dandelions into a nylon bag, and submerge in the hot water which will immediately turn a beautiful golden yellow and continue to grow bolder in color the longer the blossoms steep.
Next is the sugar, lemon peel, and even raisins to taste. Once this concoction has cooled yeast is added. After the fermentation process is done in about two weeks sulfite is added to prevent spoilage and then your wine is ready to be enjoyed some four months later dependent upon your ability to wait for the incredibly beautiful liquid to just sit there.
The result is a beverage that is said to be, “light and simple, with no complexity and no sweetness. A delicate liquor with hints of grass and green apple”
Now with something to do better than treat these delicate little flowers with weed killer maybe they’ve gained a better reputation. Some people eat them in salads, some pick them and hand them to a pretty girl, and now we know that one can take a few well earned steps and put a delightful drink on the table to share with friends, a drink that you made all by yourself.