27 December 2008

Blossom Wine

My homemade Red Clover and Daisy Blossom wine is ready just in time for the new year, and the heart of winter. A touch of wine on a snowy afternoon warms my cheeks in place of the sun. I'm a wimp when it comes to alcohol, and Mr. Fritillary is a teetotaller, so we don't need much. I drink my wine like tea: 1/4 cup wine, a drizzle of honey and hot water. It has a distinctively floral taste, and pleasantly warms the belly. I made this first batch of wine in mid-July when the daisies and clover were in abundant bloom. But I missed the dandelions which I have read, make a sweet golden wine. Next June I'll start a batch of dandelion wine.

For this blossom wine I altered a Daisy wine recipe from "Edible Garden Weeds of Canada". This is my recipe:

3 Liters or Quarts Daisy Blossoms* (Ox-Eye Daisy Chrysanthemum leucanthemum grows in my area, but English Daisy Bellis perennis can also be used)
3 Liters or Quarts Red Clover Blossoms* (Trifolium pratense)
no stems or leaves
*Always be absolutely sure of plant identification before collecting or consuming any wild plant. I use Petersons Field Guide to Edible Wild Plants to aid identification.
6 Liters or Quarts boiling water
1.5 Kg or 3 1/4 lbs organic raw sugar or honey
500g or 1 lb chopped dates (can use raisins or sultanas)
500g or 1 lb whole wheat kernels
1 Tbsp each dried orange and lemon peel (can use zest and juice of 2 oranges and 2 lemons if available)
6 cardamom pods and 6 cloves (can be omitted or substituted for favorite spices/herbs, ie cinnamon, mint, vanilla, anise, lavender, etc)
1 pkg or 2 tsp dry active yeast

Wash blossoms, by submerging in water to expel any insects. Place flowers in stone crock, glass or food grade plastic, pour boiling water over blossoms, and let stand 24 hours. Filter out blossoms and add remaining ingredients (except yeast) to the liquid. Stir until sugar or honey is dissolved. Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup water and 1tsp sugar. Let yeast stand 10 minutes, then add to mixture. Cover with clean cloth or muslin and let stand at room temperature (same as for rising bread) 3 weeks, stirring daily. After 3-4 weeks when no more bubbles rise, filter liquid into bottles and cork lightly. ** (I used mason jars with loosely screwed plastic lids.) When fermentation is complete (no gas is released), tighten cork or lids. Store in a cool, dark place until wine is clear. Should be matured for drinking in 6 months.

Makes about 3 Liters or Quarts of wine due to evaporation.

**At this point you could put aside a portion, or all, to make blossom vinegar by adding mother to the wine. See Apple Cider Vinegar.


Chicago Mike said...

Sounds yummy. Too bad for the teatotaler!

Susy said...

How interesting. I did make my own apple cider vinegar this year.

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

The Blossom wine also works great for an upset stomach. I had a sugar and cream stomach ache after Christmas, and drank a hot cup of wine. It warmed and relaxed my belly and I slept great! I usually drink Red Clover and Chamomile tea for stomach upsets, but the Red Clover wine works even better.

Susy, how did your cider vinegar come out?

Bishops Homegrown said...

Excellent post! I'm just now getting into home brewing myself and just finished mixing my first 10 gallons of mead and maple mead on Christmas day, so seeing this on your blog was a terrific coincidence as I just blogged about my experience!

Freija and Beringian Fritillary said...

Bishops, enjoy that mead!