Dandelion Wine Recipe – And the Mistake You Don’t Want to Make

A homemade dandelion wine recipe "so therapeutic to the kidneys and digestive system that it was deemed medicinal even for the ladies."
Dandelion wine is a family tradition that was passed down from my grandmother to my mother to me. We don’t make it every year, but I do like to keep a few bottles on hand for company. The taste of this dandelion wine is rich, golden and warming – more like a good brandy than a wine. I’ve had friends who don’t normally like wine comment that they do enjoy this “spring tonic”.

When we get dandelions, we get LOTS OF DANDELIONS! They are everywhere! Along the driveway, in the garden, in the yard – hundreds (maybe thousands?) of dandelions. What do yo do when you’re overrun with dandelions? Eat them – and make some wine! The boys and I got picking and we gathered a large bowl full of dandelion flowers for wine and cookies, plus some greens for a decoction. (Boy photos are from 2010. They have grown quite a bit since then, but I kept these photos here for the happy memories.)

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

Don’t Make this Dandelion Wine Mistake!

For dandelion wine (and the cookies), the recipes use the yellow petals only. Leaving the petals attached to the green base of the flower will result in a bitter, unpalatable wine. My next door neighbor made this mistake the one time she tried to make dandelion wine, and she ended up throwing out the whole batch. In the recipe, it simply calls for “3 quarts dandelion blossoms”. I aim for 3 quarts of the petals, others have started with 3 quarts of blossoms and ended up with whatever amount of petals are left after cleaning. I’ll leave it up to you. We have so many dandelions that we have more than enough.

All your fermentation vessels should be glass, ceramic, stainless steel or food grade plastic. Never ferment in aluminum or iron, as it will react with the wine.

The boys and I sat down to a session of “second picking”.

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

The cookies called for 1/2 cup of petals, the rest went into the gallon crock for wine. This crock belonged to my mother and her mother before her.

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

My wine recipe was from the book Dandelion Medicine by Brigitte Mars. It’s really interesting book and I look forward to trying out more of the recipes. There are a great variety for both medicinal and culinary use. This humble “weed” is a veritable pharmacy in and of itself.

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

Homemade Dandelion Wine Recipe

Dandelion wine, believed to be of Celtic origin, is regarded as one of the fine country wines of Europe. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was not proper for ladies to drink alcohol; however, dandelion flower wine was considered so therapeutic to the kidneys and digestive system that it was deemed medicinal even for the ladies.

Adapted from Dandelion Medicine

Ingredients

Directions

1) Collect the blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day. Remove any green parts; they will impair fermentation (and ruin the taste of the wine).

2) Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the flowers in a large pot or crock. Cover and let steep for three days.

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

3) Prepare the oranges and the lemon. I used organic oranges and lemon, zested about half the skin off and cut the rest off in very thin strips to minimize the amount of white pith I added to the brew. (I love, love, love my Microplane grater for zesting.) I peeled the citrus completely and sliced them into thin rounds. (My mom just sliced them in rounds without peeling when she made the wine.)

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.
How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

4) Add the orange and lemon zest to the flower-water mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, strain out solids, then add the sugar (I used one pound Florida Crystals and two pounds white sugar), stirring until it is dissolved. Allow to cool.

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

5) Add the orange and lemon slices, yeast, and raisins to the liquid. Put everything into a crock with a loose lid (so gas can escape) to ferment. (I covered it with a clean cotton towel held down by a rubber band.)

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids.

6) When the mixture has stopped bubbling (2 days to a week), fermentation is complete. Strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth (I think my jelly bags would work well for this, too) and transfer to sterilized bottles. Slip a deflated balloon over the top of each bottle to monitor for further fermentation. When the balloon remains deflated for 24 hours, fermentation is complete. Cork the bottles and store in a cool, dark place for at least six months before drinking.

NOTE: Be sure not to seal these tightly before they finish fermenting, and don’t put them somewhere warm. Otherwise, you’ll end up with exploding bottles, like my sister Mary when she stashed them in the closet at the trailer house when she was first married. Apparently it sounded like there were bombs going off or they were being shot at.

Next posts in the series: Bottling the wine and tasting the wine.

If you’d like to download a pdf copy of my dandelion wine labels, just click here. => Printable Dandelion Wine Labels

Dandelion Wine 2015-03-28 09:51:42 A smooth and hearty wine with citrus notes that will warm you from head to toe.

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7190 calories
1823 g
0 g
7 g
35 g
1 g
6760 g
726 g
1659 g
0 g
2 g

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size
6760g
Amount Per Serving

Calories 7190
Calories from Fat 61

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 7g
11%

Saturated Fat 1g
7%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g

Cholesterol 0mg
0%

Sodium 726mg
30%

Total Carbohydrates 1823g
608%

Dietary Fiber 49g
194%

Sugars 1659g
Protein 35g

Vitamin A1353%Vitamin C709%
Calcium173%Iron172%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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Ingredients

  1. 3 quarts dandelion blossoms
  2. 1 gallon water
  3. 2 oranges, with peel, preferably organic
  4. 1 lemon, with peel, preferably organic
  5. 3 pounds sugar
  6. 1 package wine yeast
  7. 1 pound raisins, preferably organic

Instructions

  1. Collect the blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day. Remove any green parts; they will impair fermentation.
  2. Bring the water to a boil and pour it over the flowers in a large pot. Cover and let steep for three days.
  3. Prepare the oranges and the lemon. Zest (finely grate) about half the skin off and cut the rest off in very thin strips to minimize the amount of white pith added to the brew. (The pith will make it bitter.)
  4. Finish peeling the citrus, and slice them into thin rounds.
  5. Add the orange and lemon zest to the flower-water mixture and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, strain out solids, then add the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved. Allow to cool.
  6. Add the orange and lemon slices, yeast, and raisins to the liquid. Put everything into a crock with a loose lid (so gas can escape) to ferment. (I covered it with a clean cotton towel held down by a rubber band.)
  7. When the mixture has stopped bubbling (2 days to a week), fermentation is complete. Strain the liquid through several layers of cheesecloth or a flour sack towel and transfer to sterilized bottles. Slip a deflated balloon over the top of each bottle to monitor for further fermentation. When the balloon remains deflated for 24 hours, fermentation is complete. Cork the bottles and store in a cool, dark place for at least six months before drinking for best flavor. NOTE: Be sure not to seal these tightly before they finish fermenting, and don’t put them somewhere warm. Otherwise, you’ll end up with exploding bottles.

Notes

  1. Dandelion wine, believed to be of Celtic origin, is regarded as one of the fine country wines of Europe. In the late 1800s and early 1900s, it was not proper for ladies to drink alcohol; however, dandelion flower wine was considered so therapeutic to the kidneys and digestive system that it was deemed medicinal even for the ladies.

Adapted from Dandelion Medicine
beta

calories
7190

fat
7g

protein
35g

carbs
1823g

more

Adapted from Dandelion Medicine
Common Sense Homesteading http://commonsensehome.com/

A homemade dandelion wine recipe "so therapeutic to the kidneys and digestive system that it was deemed medicinal even for the ladies."

For the cookies, I used a recipe from my friend Hannah at Preparing for Our Children’s Future.

Dandelion Flower Cookie Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1⁄2 cup coconut oil
  • 1⁄2 cup honey
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1 cup unbleached, unbromated flour or gluten free flour mix
  • 1 cup dry oatmeal
  • 1⁄2 cup dandelion flower petals

Directions

1) Preheat the oven to 375.

2) Mix the oil and honey and then beat in the 2 eggs and vanilla.

3) Remove the yellow flower parts from the green parts (compost the green parts).

4) Stir in the flour, oatmeal, and dandelion flowers.

5) Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto an oiled cookie sheet.

6) Bake for 10-15 minutes.

7) Cool and enjoy!

How to Make Dandelion Wine and Cookies - A homemade dandelion wine recipe that is easy to make and historically "deemed medicinal for the ladies", plus a quick cookie cookie recipe for the kids. Dandelion Flower Cookies 2015-03-28 09:54:27 Dandelion petals add a taste of spring to these easy drop cookies.

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Save Recipe Print

3852 calories
436 g
372 g
234 g
39 g
193 g
922 g
205 g
281 g
0 g
26 g

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size
922g
Amount Per Serving

Calories 3852
Calories from Fat 2023

% Daily Value *

Total Fat 234g
361%

Saturated Fat 193g
964%

Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 8g
Monounsaturated Fat 18g

Cholesterol 372mg
124%

Sodium 205mg
9%

Total Carbohydrates 436g
145%

Dietary Fiber 14g
57%

Sugars 281g
Protein 39g

Vitamin A123%Vitamin C35%
Calcium24%Iron79%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Does this look wrong?

Ingredients

  1. 1⁄2 cup coconut oil
  2. 1⁄2 cup honey
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  5. 1 cup unbleached, unbromated flour or gluten free flour mix
  6. 1 cup dry oatmeal
  7. 1⁄2 cup dandelion flower petals

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375.
  2. Mix the oil and honey and then beat in the 2 eggs and vanilla.
  3. Remove the yellow flower parts from the green parts (compost the green parts).
  4. Stir in the flour, oatmeal, and dandelion flowers.
  5. Drop the batter by tablespoonfuls onto an oiled cookie sheet.
  6. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  7. Cool and enjoy!

Adapted from Preparing for Our Children’s Future
beta

calories
3852

fat
234g

protein
39g

carbs
436g

more

Adapted from Preparing for Our Children’s Future
Common Sense Homesteading http://commonsensehome.com/

I chopped some dandelion greens and made a decoction by pouring boiling water over them and letting them steep overnight.

dandelion decoction

In the morning I strained out the chunks and heated it up with a little honey to make it more palatable. (I can deal with sour much easier than bitter.) I have to say that I prefer my kombucha and coconut milk tonic much better. Here’s a link to Dandelion Medicine on Amazon.com. It’s out of print so it’s a little more pricey, but it has a TON of wonderful information.

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Originally published in 2010, updated 2016.

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