When I think of a bottle of wine, the juice of fermented grapes immediately comes to mind. But there are also other ingredients one can use to make excellent and quality wine. Some of these ingredients include root vegetables, blackberries, plums, cereals, flower petals and rose hips. You certainly won’t find many of these types of wine at your local supermarket but they are not as difficult to make as you might think. You also don’t need any expensive exquipment – so why not just make some yourself…at home!
Below we present 3 simple recipes using strawberries, elderberries and dandelion blossoms.
Strawberry Wine by Home Cooking
- 3kg fresh strawberries
- 7.5l of boiling water
- Juice of one lemon
- 2kg sugar
- Mash strawberries in a large earthenware crock.
- Cover with boiling water, add lemon juice and stir briskly for about two minutes.
- Cover the crock with a clean linen cloth and allow to rest in a cool, dark place. Stir daily for one week.
- After seven days, use a double layer of cheesecloth to strain the strawberry mixture into a clean bowl, discarding the pulp.
- Combine the strawberry liquid with sugar and stir, then pour into a clean crock and allow to stand for an additional week, stirring daily.
- At the end of the second week, pour the liquid into 1 gallon glass bottles and cork loosely.
- Let the bottles sit in a cool, dark place for three months.
- Once the wine is clear and no longer bubbling, pour it into individual wine bottles, cork and age at least 1 year before drinking.
Elderberry Wine by Grape Stompers
- 1.5kg elderberries (remove the stalks)
- 1.5kg sugar
- One lemon
- 0.5kg raisins (can use sultanas)
- 15g yeast
- Use a fork to remove berries from the stalk.
- Pour berries into a sanitized bucket and add 1 gallon of boiling water.
- Mash the elderberries against the side of the bucket, then add raisins or sultanas.
- Cover bucket and let stand for three to four days.
- Strain mixture and add liquid back to bucket.
- Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Add juice of 1 lemon and sprinkle on the yeast, then cover for another three days.
- Strain wine mixture and pour resulting liquid into a demijohn container.
- Secure airlock and leave until bubbling stops completely, about four to five months.
- Strain, pour into individual bottles and age for at least four months.
Dandelion wine by Texas Cooking
- 1 package dried yeast
- 1/4 cup warm water
- 2 litres worth of dandelion blossoms
- 4 litres of water
- 1 cup orange juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 3 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 8 whole cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
- 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped orange peel
- 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped lemon peel
- 6 cups sugar
- Wash dandelion blossoms and put them in water with orange, lemon and lime juices.
- Add cloves, ginger, orange peel, lemon peel and sugar and bring mixture to a boil.
- Boil for one hour, then strain through coffee filter and allow mixture to cool.
- While still warm (but not hot), stir in yeast.
- Let wine mixture stand overnight, then pour into bottles.
- Allow uncorked bottles to sit in darkened place for at least three weeks, then cork and store in cool area for six months to a year before drinking.
Note: The GapeStompers website has several more wine recipes such as Farmer’s Wine, Grapefruit Wine, Jalapeno Wine and Tea Bag Wine among others. Go check them out as well!