How to Make a Simple, Fruity Dandelion Wine for Summer

When I found this small, lovely book in a used bookstore, I knew I had to buy it. Published in 1971, "Cooking with Flowers" contains recipes for soups, salads and other nibbles, all infused with flavors and fragrance from the garden. This summer, I'll be making this recipe for dandelion wine.

The author of "Cooking with Flowers", Dorothea Zach Hanle, was, according to her obituary, "a longtime editor at Bon Appetit, a cookbook writer and one of the founders of Les Dames d'Escoffier, an international women's organization that promotes fine dining and wine." While some of the recipes in this book have a distinctly 70's flair, this is one that has an evergreen appeal.


  • 2 quarts dandelion blossoms
  • 4 quarts water
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh orange rind
  • 1 tablespoon coarsely chopped fresh lemon peel
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 pounds granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cake compressed, dried yeast, dissolved in
  • 1/4 cup warm water

Choose flowers from an open field rather than from a lawn and pick early in the season when the plant's leaves are still tender. Flowers that have just opened are best and just the flower heads are used. Put the washed blossoms in water with orange, lemon and lime juice. Add the citrus rinds, cloves, ginger, and sugar. Bring to boil and continue to boil for one hour. Strain through filter paper. Cool. While still warm, add yeast. Let stand overnight and pour into bottles. After three weeks, cork, and store in a cool place. Makes about 8 pints.