My Danish grandfather used to make wine. He had mountains of equipment and a perfect temperature wine cave. It was wonderful to visit on hot days. I wish I had paid more attention to the wine making process when he would explain it in his Danish accent. His wine was always served at family dinners, and it was excellent. Wine making is a fantastic hobby and tradition, and one I hope to continue and even teach my kids. It is also a survival skill. During the Middle Ages, people's main beverage was mead or wine as the process makes water drinkable and palatable.
Dandelions are in full force right now so it's a good time to start a batch! You first need to make dandelion syrup. There are numerous recipes available. This batch was started at the beginning of the year with syrup that my daughter and I canned last summer.
This is an easy recipe and a great one for beginners as it does not require any super special equipment.
Dandelion Honey Mead
1 gallon spring water
|Bottles came from Hobby Lobby
8 oz dandelion syrup
1 teaspoon loose tea
1 stick cinnamon
1 cup apple peels (or sliced oranges for different flavor)
2 whole cloves
1 pack yeast (like what you use for baking)
Pour out half the water into a pot. Add ingredients. Shake. Add additional water back in but leave a little space at the top.
Stick balloon with pin several times. Put on top of jug and place rubber band around rim to secure. Within a day the balloon will begin to inflate. If it gets too large release the air and add a few more holes. Draw a happy face on your balloon for fun! Put on your counter for six to eight weeks and enjoy watching the bubbles! Occasionally shake to mix, especially in the beginning. When the bubbles stop, strain into your containers (or rack) and age six months. You can rack again if you prefer for more clarity. I did not and you can see what mine looks like. There is a just bit of sediment at the bottom so I may before serving.
This is strong and would definitely intoxicate you. It tastes like a field of flowers. You would think with so much sweetener that it would be sweet, but it is only mildly so.
Optional: You can add 20 raisins for a change in flavor before fermenting.