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Try This Simple Recipe to Make Dandelion Wine

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Dandelions are surprisingly nutritious, and we’ve touched on the benefits of using them medicinally before.  However, did you know that you can also make a wine from these ever-present weeds?  Not only is it possible, but making a batch is also very easy.  The wine itself is also nutritious in addition to tasting pretty good.  Take a look at the steps below, and you can whip up your own batch in no time.

Ingredients

3 quarts of dandelion blossoms (the yellow petals separated from the greens)

1 gallon of water

2 whole oranges (including the peel)

1 whole lemon (including the peel)

¼ ounce or (1 packet) of wine yeast

1 pound of raisins (optional)

3 pounds of sugar

Getting Started

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The first step is to go outside and collect the blossoms.  You will need a lot to produce three quarts of nothing but yellow petals.  The best time to do this is on a warm and sunny day when the flowers are in full bloom and at their biggest.  Bring them back inside and remove any greens, dead parts or other imperfections.  Any one of these can impair the process of fermentation in addition to giving the wine a bitter and unappealing flavor.  Place the processed petals in a large, empty crock or stock pot and discard the waste products.

Pour the water into a stockpot and bring to a vigorous boil.  Remove from heat and pour over the dandelions.  Place the lid over the pot and let the dandelions soak or steep for three days. 

Preparing the Fruit

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Zest about half of the peel from the orange as well as the lemon and set aside.  Then, peel the fruit and set the peelings aside as well.  Cut the fruit into very thin slices, thinner than your typical drink garnish.

You want to separate these components in order to extract out all of the oils and flavors as they are added in the next steps.

Add the zest to the dandelion/water mixture, bring to a boil and then remove the pot from the heat.  Pour through a strainer or colander in order to separate the liquid from the solids and then add the sugar.  Stir the sugar until it completely dissolves and allow the liquid to cool to about 90 degrees.  Add the fruit and peels along with the yeast and mix thoroughly until the yeast dissolves.  Put the lid back on the pot and let it ferment.  The mixture will bubble during the fermentation process.  When the bubbling stops, the fermentation is complete.  This can take anywhere from 2 days to over a week. 

Preparing the Bottles

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The next step is to strain the liquid through a few layers of cheesecloth in order to remove all solids.  Do this a few times if necessary until the liquid is as pure as it can get.  Use a funnel to pour the liquid into sterilized wine bottles or canning jars.  Take a balloon and stretch it over the top.  The balloons will inflate if the wine is still fermenting.  The fermentation process is fully complete once the balloons are deflated for at least 24 hours.  Now you can attach the cork or lids and seals and store. 

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Try this recipe out for yourself, and feel free to improvise with different flavor enhancers.  This is not only a nice wine, but it contains high levels of vitamin A and C.  Even if you don’t drink, having a few bottles laying around may be useful for selling or bartering. 

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