Dandelion Wine: Bringing An Old Tradition Back


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Categories: Food

I see dandelions in every direction.... I wish there was something I could do with all of this grounded flora.  Maybe I could make a tea, or a honey or a dew.... is it a spice, or a seasoning, or something I can chew?  Maybe I could pack it in a pipe or roll it in a paper?   It carpets the ground with yellow appeal, there's so much out there, we might make a stew! What if it's yellows could be plucked and primed?  Do you think, could you think we might make a wine?   ~David Webster

"Dandelions are in season during the spring and summer months, but they lend themselves deliciously to a beverage you can serve year-round.  April and May are the best months to harvest dandelions for the purpose of wine making in the Northern hemisphere." 1-wiki how

"Dandelion wine has quite a long history, and people have been enjoying it for centuries.  It’s easy to make, and as easy to drink. There are other foods obtainable from this wonderful weed."


"In the ‘old’ days a family would go out on a nice, dry, spring day to gather all the yellow flowering heads of the dandelion they could find.  The bigger the blossom,the better.  Every spring this would occur, and every spring the adults would put up as much of this wine as possible.  It was the one thing that could make a dreary winter day cheerful again.  Their supply would be running low by the following spring, so they would look forward to seeing the bright yellow flower – knowing that their harvest that day would last them through the next winter." 

Ingredients: 

  • 1 package (7 g) dried brewing yeast
  • 1/4 cup (60 mL) warm water
  • 2 quarts (230 g) whole dandelion flowers
    • Using 2 quarts+ of just the petals can make for a less bitter wine.[1]
  • 4 quarts water (3.785 L)
  • 1 cup (240 mL) orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) fresh lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons (45 g) fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon (1.25 g) powdered ginger
  • 3 tablespoons (18 g) coarsely chopped orange zest; avoid any white pith
  • 1 tablespoon (6 g) coarsely chopped lemon zest; avoid any white pith
  • 6 cups (1200 g) sugar  2-wiki how

Watch as one man makes dandelion wine: 

Warnings

  • Make sure you strain the drink thoroughly to avoid dandelion petals getting into your drink. That could disrupt your enjoyment of the wine.
  • There is some evidence that dandelions have a diuretic effect and may cause more frequent urination.
  • Avoid using dandelions that may have been chemically treated. Also, try to stay away from dandelions that have been graced by the presence of dogs, or that grow within 50 feet (15.2 m) of a road.

Then again... you can always buy a bottle, but what's the fun in that?

~By David Webster and Pilar Martz

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