Coltsfoot Wine

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Ingredients

  • 3 litres (5 pints) coltsfoot flowers
  • 1 kg (2ΒΌ lb) sugar
  • 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water
  • juice of 2 lemons
  • general purpose yeast

Method

Traditionally, this wine was made from the petals only, but I have found that to cut away the stem and some of the outer green calyx with a pair of scissors is quicker and does not actually affect the flavour of the wine.

Prepare the coltsfoot flowers and place them in a plastic bucket. Pour 2 litres (3Β½ pints) of boiling water on the flowers and leave them to soak for 24 hours, pressing them occasionally with a wooden spoon. Then, strain off the flowers through muslin, squeezing hard at the end to extract all the flavour. Add the juice of the lemons and put the yeast to start. Boil the sugar in 2 litres (3Β½ pints) of water to dissolve it and add it to the bucket. When the liquid has cooled, add the yeast, cover and leave to ferment for 3 days, then transfer to a fermentation jar. Make up the quantity with the rest of the cold boiled water and seal with an airlock. Leave in a warm place 16–20˚C (60–70˚F) until fermentation has ceased. Then siphon the wine into a clear jar, leaving the main sediment behind. Seal with a cork and leave for a month. Filter the wine to get a sparkling result but if you prefer not to filter it, leave in the jar until the sediment has all settled out and then siphon it off. Bottle and cork with sterilized corks.