I’ve tasted some different wines over the years, but one of the best and most unique wines I have ever tasted is this dandelion wine recipe, that you can easily make yourself!
Dandelions For Homemade Wine
Dandelions grow in most parts of the country. Here in North Carolina, we see them all year, but they mainly flower from March to November. You can collect the entire plant including the root if you want a drier, more bitter wine. Use just the flowers if you want a sweeter wine. Either way, clean them well. The roots can harbor sand in the crevasses, and bacteria on the entire plant.
Dandelion Wine Recipe
- 1 package brewing yeast (find a versatile winemaking yeast here)
- ¼ cup warm filtered water (find the best water filtration systems here)
- 4 cups dandelions, chopped, or dandelion flowers (see explanation above to determine which one to use)
- 1-gallon warm water
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ¼ cup lime juice
- juice from 4 oranges
- ¼ cup chopped orange peels
- 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger
- 4 cups raw sugar or equivalent of sugar substitute*
- 1-gallon glass jug, or a few smaller glass bottles (find 1-gallon glass jug here)
- homebrew airlock (find them at homebrew supply stores or online here)
*If you choose to use a sugar substitute, you'll still need to add some sugar. Yeast feeds on sugar, and without it, the yeast can't grow and your wine won't ferment. Add just enough sugar for the yeast (it'll be converted anyway), about ½ cup, and wait to add the sugar substitute until the wine is finished. Then you can judge how much you'll need.
- Clean dandelions well, making sure they are free of dirt and bugs.
- Add yeast to ¼ cup warm water and stir. Set the yeast mixture aside and move on to the next step.
- Add all remaining ingredients to a pot and simmer for about an hour. Turn off and cool a bit. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.
- Cool to about 100°F. Transfer liquid to your glass jug and add the yeast mixture. Stir well and top with an airlock.
After you have the water lock in place, let the wine sit in a cool, dark place for 3-4 weeks to allow fermentation to take place. You'll know it's done when the bubbling stops.
It is very important to be sure that the fermentation process has finished before capping or corking. If you don't, you risk an explosion.
Drinking Your Wine
Once you cap or cork the bottles, you can drink the wine right away, or you can let it mellow. I allow my dandelion wine to sit for 3-4 months before drinking it. This seems to make it less harsh and much more mellow.
Dandelion Wine Vinegar
Some people don’t drink wine, but they use white wine vinegar for cooking. I have a very nice champagne vinegar, but I’m thinking it could be made just as easily starting with this dandelion wine recipe.
Ingredients & Supplies
- 1 bottle dandelion wine (from recipe above)
- “mother” from raw vinegar (this is the gritty sediment at the bottom of a bottle of raw vinegar)
- non-metal bowl or jug
- rubber band
Mix the wine and the “mother” in the bowl or jug, and cover with several layers of cheesecloth. (Fruit flies love vinegar and will ruin it if they get inside.) Leave the vinegar mixture for 3-4 weeks. Pour into a bottle and cap.
Use for salads or anything else you would use vinegar for.
Do you have a dandelion wine recipe you love? If so, tell us about it!