Put dandelion flower heads to good use—in dandelion wine. Make sure to select flowers that haven’t been exposed to chemical treatment. And just to be safe, wash them well before using.
To make dandelion wine, you’ll need:
- 3 sterile pint bottles
- glass or ceramic crock
- large stainless steal or enamel saucepan
- 4 cups dandelion heads
- 2 quarts boiling water
- 1 lemon, thinly sliced
- 1 orange, thinly sliced
- 2 cinnamon sticks
- 8 whole cloves
- 3 cups sugar
- 1-inch piece of ginger root
- ½ package dried yeast
- ¼ cup warm water
Put washed flower heads in the crock and cover with the boiling water. Steep at room temperature for one week.
Place citrus slices and sugar in saucepan; press with a wooden spoon to bruise and release juice. Strain dandelion liquid into the saucepan and discard flower heads. Add ginger, cinnamon and cloves. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then let simmer for 30 minutes. Cool to lukewarm. While mixture is cooling, dissolve yeast in ¼ cup warm water; add to saucepan. Let liquid stand uncovered at room temperature for two days.
Strain liquid through a paper filter into a large crock. Let stand, covered, for three weeks.
Strain into sterile bottles and cork. Store in a dark, cool place for three to six months before using.