With what you can pick from your front lawn, and equipment you already have around the kitchen, you can make your own with this old-school dandelion wine recipe.
While it might be Fall, the dandelion wine I made in the Spring is now mature enough to drink.
It’s a tradition in my family, as the first frost is creeping in, and the leaves are falling, and we’re bracing ourselves for a long, cold winter, to break out our dandelion wine and enjoy a glass in front of the fire.
It’s a lovely way to remind us of the hot, humid summer days, and to officially close the Summer season.
I love this wine. I love that it’s homemade, it’s painfully simple, and doesn’t require a lot of wine-making know-how or even special equipment.
With what you can pick from your front lawn, and equipment you already have around the kitchen, you can make your own old-school dandelion wine.
Dandelion Wine Recipe
To begin making dandelion wine, you need dandelions! I make mention of dandelions in my post Edible Weeds From Your Own Backyard, but dandelions are incredibly versatile.
The yellow flowers are sweet, summery, and remind me of sunshine. To make dandelion wine you need a gallon of dandelion petals. This is the perfect job for littles.
In fact, our neighbors, who want an immaculate lawn, pay my 4-year-old to pick the dandelion flowers out of his lawn before they have a chance to germinate!
He then brings them home and we make wine out of them! It’s a win-win-win.
You’ll then want to shake out any dirt, bugs, debris, grasses etc., and remove as much of the green base of the flowers as possible. This green tends to be bitter and will taint the flavor of your wine.
Next, add your flowers to a large pot and add just enough water to cover. Bring to just below the boiling point and turn the heat off.
When the water has cooled enough that you can stand it with your finger, add the sugar, yeast, and zest and juice of lemons and oranges.
Any hotter and it’ll kill the yeast. If it’s too cold, the sugar won’t dissolve.
You can either throw a kitchen towel directly over this pot and leave it to ferment in a cool dark place, or pour it into a carboy to ferment.
The fermentation may take between 10-14 days. Once it stops bubbling, transfer the wine into secondary bottles with a ladle or siphon to leave the sediment behind.
Allow the dandelion wine to ferment a second time for at least 8 weeks, but we give it several months and open it at the beginning of Fall.
- 1 gallon of dandelion flower heads
- 3 lbs sugar (5-6 cups)
- 3-4 lemons, zest and juice
- 3-4 oranges, zest and juice
- 1 package active dry yeast
- Go out and pick roughly a gallon of open, yellow dandelion blossoms.
- In a large pot, pour enough hot water over the blossoms to cover, bring the heat up to just before boiling and turn the heat off.
- Once cool, add the sugar, yeast, zest and juice of the lemons and oranges. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
- Cover with a wash cloth or hand towel and put aside somewhere warm to ferment.
- Let ferment for 10-14 days or until it stops bubbling.
- Without disturbing the sediment at the bottom of the pot, scoop out or siphon off your clear wine.
- Let mature for roughly 6 months in a cool dark place.