Making Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Wine is one of several rural concoctions traditionally brewed during the summer months, which poetry and folkore attributes to gnomes and faeries.

"The fair folk" are supposedly able to transform the overlooked common things of the earth into things quite wonderous— such as turning shafts of wheat into solid gold. It is perhaps no surprise that tradition would suggest that they might take a pretty weed flower and brew from it a wine with which to make merry.

Your ingredients:

Take the blossoms, remove stem and leaves, and boil in water. Remove from heat and let stand overnite, then strain. Then add lemon, raspberries, cinnamon and honey (so it is overly sweet to the taste). Warm the mixture over a low flame until the honey permeates evenly.

Next, when the mixture is lukewarm, add active yeast which as been suspended in warm water. Cover the pan with a towl and let it set for three days undisturbed.

Finally, strain the mixture again and bottle in loosely corked bottles. Once the corks no longer pop out, tast it to see if the wine needs any additional honey. If so, return it to the stove and sweeten to taste, but bring it to a boil so as to kill the yeast. Cork tightly and let age for one year in a cool, dark area best results.

Commentary by Clifford Low, Monday, October 26, 1998.