My lawn is full of yellow dandelion flowers. When your garden is full of dandelions it’s time to make wine. We have a bumper crop of Dandelions in our garden. I read that the greens are really good for you. We like to eat Dandelion salad when the greens are young. After the flowers start blooming the greens get bitter. The flowers are eatable too. If you pick the flowers buds before they open they are quite tasty. I cook them in a little garlic butter .
This is a sweeter and more robust Dandelion wine than the usual sort because of the sugar and the raisins.
To be completely traditional all Dandelions for wine should be picked on St George’s Day (23rd April). It should be a sunny, dry day and then pick the largest, fullest flowers. You can then cut off the petals and discard all the green parts of the flower.
Don’t worry – the 23rd April WILL be a sunny day – St George sees to these details personally! He’s a good lad our George!
- 5 pints (3 litres) of Dandelion petals (avoid the green bits as they make the wine bitter)
- 8 ounces (225 grams) of chopped raisins
- 4 pounds (1.8 kilos) of Demerara sugar (or brown sugar)
- juice of 1 lemon
- juice of 1 Orange
- wine yeast
Chop the raisins and add to the fermentation bucket with the flowers. Pour on 5 pints of boiling water. Cover and leave for 6 days – stirring daily.
Strain off the liquid and put it into a demijohn with the sugar dissolved in 2 pints of water, the activated yeast and the juice of the lemon and orange.
Top up with more water after the more violent stage of the fermentation is passed so that there isn’t too big a space in the top of the demijohn.
Ferment, rack and bottle as usual.