A Few Notes on Making Easy Dandelion Wine:
* Be sure to collect dandelions you are 100% sure have not been exposed to chemicals (like weed killers).
* Collect only dandelion flowers. It's fine to keep the green leaves (sepals) at the base of the petals, but don't include any stems.
* Choose only fully opened, fresh flowers. Avoid partially-opened blooms or blooms that are wilted or are turning brown.
* It's fine to freeze dandelion flowers until you have enough to make wine. However, measure the flowers before you freeze them, not after.
* Use wine or champagne yeast or your wine will end up way, way too sweet. Regular baking yeast dies before it can fully eat up the sugar in this recipe. Wine or champagne yeast lives longer, and eats up more of the sugar.
* You'll need something to help you cap or cork your bottles. The easiest and cheapest is a bottle caper and caps, like this one.
Dandelion Wine Recipe
8 cups dandelion flowers
1 gallon boiling water
9 cups granulated sugar (you can experiment by using less)
juice from 4 oranges
juice from 3 lemons
2 1/4 teaspoons (1 packet) wine or champagne yeast
1/2 cup lukewarm water
Large, non-reactive pot with lid
Funnel (I used a new, never used car oil funnel)
1 gallon glass jug
Fine mesh strainer
Wine or beer bottles with new corks or caps
How to Make Dandelion Wine, the Easy Way:
1. Pour the dandelion heads into a large, non-reactive pot. Pour 1 gallon of boiling water over the flowers. Cover with the pot lid and steep for two days.
After two days, it will look like this:
3. Clean the pot so no trace of dandelions remains. Pour the liquid into the pot. Stir in the sugar and citrus juice.
5. Pour the yeast mixture into the dandelion mixture and stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
6. Place the funnel in the jug and pour the liquid into it.
8. Strain through cheesecloth until you are satisfied with the clarity of the wine. Funnel into bottles and cork or cap. For best flavor, allow the wine to sit in a dark, cool location for at least 6 months. As the wine ages, it will become lighter in color.
I can't show you my dandelion wine all bottled up yet, because it is at the final stages of fermenting. But once it's bottled and aged, it should look something like this:
Did you know you can turn dandelion leaves, flowers, buds, stems, and roots into tasty and healthy treats? Learn more about eating and cooking with dandelions in my #1 Amazon Bestselling paperback or ebook, The Ultimate Dandelion Cookbook.
For more information about harvesting and using dandelions, see these posts:
"Ah Sweet...Dandelions?" (including a recipe for cooking dandelion leaves)
How to Make Dandelion Tea (from the roots of the plant)
Making Dandelion Jelly
Teaching Children to Forage (with dandelion cookie recipe)
Eating Dandelion Flowers
How to Preserve Dandelion Greens
Dandelion Flower Fritters
Dandelion Leaf Noodles
Dandelion Leaf Green Smoothie
Dandelion Root Medicine: Where to Find It, How & Why to Use It
Cautions: According to the University of Maryland Medical Center, very rarely, people have reactions to dandelion. If you're allergic to "ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigold, chamomile, yarrow, daisies, or iodine, you should avoid dandelion. In some people, dandelion can cause increased stomach acid and heartburn. It may also irritate the skin. People with kidney problems, gallbladder problems, or gallstones should consult their doctors before eating dandelion." Dandelion is a diuretic, which means it may also make other medications less effective. To learn more about this, visit the University of Maryland Medical Center website.