Here’s a dandelion wine recipe inspired by Euell Gibbons and Ray Bradbury. You can also make red clover wine by this recipe, simply substituting red clover flowers for dandelions flowers. You will need:
- a pristine, sanitized crock, a pot, and cheesecloth
- 1 gallon fresh flowers
- 1 gallon boiling water
- ginger root (optional)
- juice of 3 oranges
- juice of 1 lemon
- 3 lb white sugar
- yeast cake and rye bread or your preferred
- tons of patience
Take 1 gallon of fresh dandelion flowers gathered on a dry spring or summer afternoon.
Put the flowers in a crock and pour 1 gallon of boiling water over them.
Cover your crock and let the flowers steep for 3 days.
Strain the steeped juice through a cheesecloth, squeezing the flowers to get all the liquid dandelion goodness out. Make sure both your supplies and your hands are thoroughly clean – or you may go through all this work just to end up with a spoiled, moldy brew!
Put the strained dandelion juice in a cooking pot with a thumb of ginger root thinly pared (optional), the juice of 3 oranges and 1 lemon.
Stir in 3 lb sugar and bring to a boil, then simmer on low for 20 min.
Return the juice to the crock and allow it to cool.
Spread 1/2 cake of yeast on a piece of toasted rye bread and float it on top. Cover the crock with a clean towel and keep it in a warm room for about a week. I imagine you can use any of your preferred starters for this step. Dandelion kombucha anyone?
Finally, strain and allow the dandelion wine to age for at least 3 weeks, preferably months. Or red clover wine, if you go that route.
If you love making wild concoctions like this, check out this classic wild edibles book for more recipes: