Long Lake Dandelion Wine
“My first taste of dandelion wine came from a Maine cousin. Her husband was making some repairs to the cellar where her wine was stored. As each trip back up the stairs became a bit harder for him to negotiate, she said to me, ‘You’d better try the wine now, otherwise it might not survive the repairs!’
“I made my first batch of dandelion wine at my first sporting camp, Tea-Pond, in 1987. It came out fine, but it froze over the holidays when I left camp. Next time I made the wine I was at Penobscot Lake Lodge. I left the wine in the gas oven, where the pilot light made just enough warmth to keep it from freezing, and I had the wine for New Year’s. The taste is really delicious and better than any champagne.
Here at Long Lake Camps, my partner, Doug Clements, and I don’t have many dandelions (or the time, for that matter, with fourteen cabins), but we recently opened some wine from eight years ago, and much to our amazement, it was smooth, potent, and very, very good.” - Sandra Smith
- 1 gallon dandelion flower heads
- 1 gallon water
- 4 pounds sugar
- 1 tablespoon dry yeast
- 1 slice bread
- fruit of choice: 2 oranges and 1 lemon or 2 cups raspberries, strawberries, or blueberries
You also need a deep kettle, cheesecloth, and a large glass container with a large opening and a cover.
Pick enough dandelions (heads only) to fill a gallon container (you can use a plastic milk container to measure). Spread them out on a sheet of paper and let set for half an hour to get rid of the insects. Put the heads in a deep kettle. Add water and fruit of choice and bring to a boil. Strain the mixture into a bowl using cheesecloth. Add sugar and stir well. Pour the wine into a large glass container. Put the slice of bread on top and sprinkle the yeast on the bread. Put the cover on loosely and let set away from the light for 1 week. Strain the mixture again with cheesecloth and pour into bottles. Put covers on the bottles loosely for the first week, then tighten.
Let age 6 months in a cool, dry place.
From The Maine Sporting Camp Cookbook by Alice Arlen