You may know dandelions as the cheerful but incredibly annoying weeds that pop up on your lawn in the summertime – but their petals can actually be used to make a fruit wine. Dandelion wine typically has a moderate alcohol content, and is made by combining the petals with sugar, some kind of acid, like lemon juice, and other winemaking chemicals. There are very few wineries that commercially produce this wine, so it’s usually made as a homemade recipe.
Dandelion wine dates back several centuries as a cheap man’s wine in Europe. The tradition continued with settlers in the Great Plains of North America because dandelions even grow in dry, sparse environments. Plus…those pioneers probably needed a drink after a long day sowing the plains.
Dandelion wine is really more of a liquor than a wine – it’s rich and warming, more like a good brandy. Using just the yellow petals makes a drink that’s quite sweet, but you can use the whole flower to add a little more tang. There are dozens of ways to make dandelion wine, but a good rule of thumb is to collect one gallon of flowers per gallon of wine you want to make.
In addition to helping you get your buzz on, dandelion wine is actually a medicinal drink. Dandelions are great for digestive health, as they help clean the kidneys and liver, and the flowers contain vitamins A, B, C and D, as well as a large amount of potassium. Maybe this was the original wine that’s actually good for your liver?
Check out this easy take on Dandelion wine, and save it until your lawn is green again.