Gorse Flower Wine


  • 2 litres ( pints) gorse flowers
  • 1 kg ( lb) sugar
  • 2 lemons
  • 2 oranges
  • 4.5 litres (1 gallon) water
  • general purpose yeast


Pick nice fresh flowers that have come out fully. Thick gardening gloves or tweezers will keep down the wear and tear on your fingers. Start the yeast. Simmer the flowers in the water for 15 minutes then dissolve the sugar, pour into a bucket and add the juice of the lemons and oranges plus the thinly peeled rind. Allow to cool to blood heat, add the yeast and let it stand with a cloth over it. After 3 days, strain off the solids and pour into a fermentation jar, fit an airlock and allow it to ferment until it is finished. Rack off into a clean jar making it up to the full gallon with cold boiled water. Leave for a month and then filter or alternatively leave until completely clear then bottle in sterilized bottles.

I got this recipe from Frank Duke Cawsand. They normally use 1.35 kg (3 lb) of sugar which gives a medium sweet wine but I prefer to cut the quantity a bit and sweeten it at the bottling stage if it is too dry. An interesting variation is to add 50 g (2 oz) of root ginger to the flowers at the simmering stage.