My spring fever requires many tonics.
After our conversation with the gentlewoman who whiled away the time with us as we picked dandelions (see last post), my foraging sights have taken on new inspiration. As I walk the streets, I look at everything edible and think…
Could I make wine out of YOU?
Why yes, says the lavender, flashing its glowing purple radiance and catching my eye. You certainly can.
Two full cups lavender flowers (depending on the variety, you can pull the multiple flowers off the stem (like the first picture) or leave the heads intact (like the kind below). I used both.). If you are using dried, you can use 1/3-1/2 cup.
1 gallon water
Bring flowers and water to a boil and then let steep overnight. I pulled my flowers out half way through because I didn’t want the “tea” to be too strong.
The next day add:
Juice and zest of one lemon
2-3 lbs sugar (depending on if you want dry or sweet wine)
1/2 lb chopped golden raisins.
Bring to a boil again and let steep for 12-24 hours.
For this experiment, I decided to use this wine yeast:
Initially I was going to make a sweet wine. But the lavender infusion smelled so strong that when I imagined it with sugar my first thought was “cough syrup”. After adding the lemon, it smelled like beautiful lavender lemonade, so I decided to go for a dry wine.
Strain out the flowers and fruit (fine mesh strainer and cheesecloth is the ticket) and heat back up to a comfy warm.
Dissolve the yeast in 1 cup of the potion.
I decided to add 1/5 tsp of yeast nutrient to the brew, so the wine wouldn’t be too dry. After the yeast begins to activate, add it to the larger pot and let sit for 1-3 days.
Alas, I’m a bit concerned. The dandelion wine in the beginning smells like a yummy yeasty mimosa. The lavender wine smells like…dry yeasty…nothing. Not bad, just not appealing. What will happen? Time will tell!
I know what you are thinking. If it’s lavender wine then it should be….lavender. Maybe the aging process will turn it purple? Maybe it is meant to be blended with blackberries? That will be just right, as it will be ready to drink come August.
Speaking of the aging process, another good thing about making wild foraged wine is that 1 gallon of it cost me under $3. Which is a lot cheaper than Yves St. Laurent under eye concealer, which, at this magnificent age of 38 is almost seeming worth it at $40 a pop.
I’ll just drink home made wine instead.