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Homemade Amish Dandelion Wine

After a freezing winter, the joy of a field full of yellow dandelions benefits the soul as well as the eyes. The Amish pick baskets of dandelion flowers in spring to make their delicious tonic wine. This guide shows you how to make it at home step-by-step.

The Benefits of Each Ingredient

Dandelion flowers offer you antioxidants, polyphenols, and anti-inflammatory agents. Flowers, leaves, and roots are all edible so you can add any leftover flowers to salads.

Lemons and oranges are citrus fruits, both rich in vitamin C and fiber. Lemon is widely used combined with honey to combat colds and flu.

Raisins add minerals too: boron, copper, iron, magnesium, and potassium.

This tonic requires a lot of sugar, but fermenting the flowers with added yeast uses the sugar and gives it a sparkle.

Below are the ingredients for 1 gallon of dandelion wine.DIY Amish Dandelion Wine - ingredients 1

Note: 4 cups is one quart, so you need 12 cups of petals for 3 quarts. This is a lot of work, so I often process just 2 cups of flowers to 1 cup of sugar if I am making a smaller batch.

If making small quantities, measure in cups and then add the mixture daily to your fermentation bin. Per every 2 cups of petals, add 2 cups of water and 1 cup of sugar.

Homemade Amish Dandelion Wine Recipe

  • 3 quarts of freshly picked dandelion petals (12 cups)
  • 6 cups of white sugar
  • 3 quarts of water
  • The juice and zest of 1 lemon, and the juice of 2 oranges
  • 2 slices of lemon
  • 1 sachet of wine yeast, and a teaspoon of white sugar to activate it

Optional: Add a cupful of raisins to the mixture to add extra sweetness to boost the yeast.

I use raisins to slowly add sugar to boost the action of the yeast. However, this alters the color of the finished tonic to a caramel hue, so if you prefer a pure yellow tonic, then omit the raisins.

  • A fermenting bin (or a large glass bowl with a lid or plate to cover it)
  • A teaspoon and a small glass, to mix the yeast
  • A sterilized demi-john with an airlock
  • Clean wine bottles with lids, or new corks and a corking machine
  • A funnel and some gauze/strainer, to strain the petals and raisins from the liquid

There are 2 stages. The first is fermentation using petals, sugar, water, citrus juice, and yeast, followed by straining the mixture into a suitable container such as a demijohn, with an airlock.

If you cannot find enough flowers in one day, just make smaller amounts each day and add them to your container.

1. Pick the petals from the fresh dandelion flowers.DIY Amish Dandelion Wine - pick dandelion

Picking dandelions is easy but the most time-consuming task is picking petals from the buds, and discarding the green parts. The Amish are great believers in using nature to heal their ailments so they make this tonic every year as soon as the blooms begin to appear, often getting several family members to help with the picking and processing. Pick respectfully, in the Amish way, and leave some flowers for the bees because this is one of their first nectar snacks after winter.

There are as many recipes for this tonic wine as there are Amish families, so you can adapt the mixture next time you make it to suit your family. It is really important to remove any green parts because they make the finished wine taste bitter. Drop these yellow petals into a clean, sterile bowl, or a fermentation bin.

2. Combine the ingredients in the fermentation bin (or bowl).DIY Amish Dandelion Wine - combine the ingredients

If you have 12 cups of petals, then add 6 cups of sugar and 12 cups of water. If using smaller quantities, add 1 cup of sugar per 2 cups of petals and use lukewarm water to dissolve it. Some recipes tell you to use boiling water, but this may kill some of the vitamins and minerals your petals contain so I prefer to use boiled water that has cooled slightly.

Cut your lemon and oranges in half, and squeeze the juice into the bowl. Add some zest from the lemon. I also like to add some half slices into the bowl to infuse. If using raisins, add them now. Stir the mixture well.

3. Make the yeast – one teaspoon of sugar to 1 teaspoon of yeast.DIY Amish Dandelion Wine - make the yeast

Add some hot water, and stir until you notice bubbles forming or the mixture thickens. When it is a creamy color, add this to the petals mixture. Cover the bowl after adding the yeast. If you do not have wine yeast, I have used bread yeast once and it worked and did not seem to affect the taste too much so don’t worry!

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4. Check and stir the mixture every day.

You can keep adding small amounts of petals every few days. Add 1 extra cup of sugar for every 2 cups of petals and stir well. Top up with water. It is important to stir the mixture every day so the yeast, sugar, and ingredients combine.

5. After 1 week the liquid takes on a yellow tint.

You now need to strain away the petals, citrus pieces, and raisins and transfer this liquid (called a “must” by winemakers) into a clean demi-john. Using a muslin bag in the funnel, pour in the liquid and add some water to the airlock.DIY Amish Dandelion Wine - strain the petals

Keep an eye on it for any overflow in the first few days. You may notice bubbling and this is normal, as sugar is converted to alcohol. Top up the demi-john with some water if needed, but allow at least an inch at the top before fitting a secure airlock. Although this tonic tastes better after 2 months or longer, you can taste it after 3 weeks and decide whether you prefer to keep it in storage. It is best to leave it for 6 months so that by Christmas you can give every one a glass of aged dandelion wine.

6. Decant the tonic into clean sterile wine bottles after 6 months.

If there is a cloudy mixture at the end of the demijohn, then you need to strain it again to achieve the clear yellow tonic. You can buy wine siphoning equipment to do this or simply strain it through muslin again to clear or “rack” your wine. Once opened, replace the lid and store in the fridge.

How to Use

This is a herbal tonic, so all you need is one small glass every day to feel the benefits. See the color difference in the glass with raisins (left) and without raisins (right).

Remember that it contains alcohol so only drink a small glass and avoid it if pregnant, breastfeeding and if taking medication, check with your physician first.

You can recycle wine bottles, sterilize them with hot water, and dry them in the oven. Store the wine in sealed bottles, out of direct sunlight, in a shady cupboard.  It stores well for up to 2-3 years, although the color may fade slightly with age.

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Sounds nice but I prefer my blossoms lightly fried. They can also be frozen after cooking.
To think people spray poison on their lawn to kill this delicious and pollinater beneficial food.

Hi Dan,

Thank you for sharing that!

You might like this article about dandelion recipes:

Many blessings and good health!

It took me over an hour to pick an ice cream pail of blossoms. After several hours of de-petaling (with an overnight break & having put blossoms in the refrigerator), I have 2 cups. Gonna quit with that amount and do someone else with the rest. I applaud the Amish for doing 12 cups! I found that cutting the end off and unrolling the blossom is easiest way to separate petals from green pieces. I hope this is worth it.

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