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Turning Flowers into Wine


As featured on these very pages in the past, there are plenty of edible flowers. From decorative salads to infusions for dandelion or chrysanthemum tea, there are plenty of sweet and savoury treats to be cooked up using flower petals, roots and leaves.

So we were having a think about this today at Clare Florist Towers, and we wondered: but what about drinks? Specifically, drinks of the makes-you-a-little-bit-tipsy variety? They make tasty beverages from everything from rice (saké) to cactus-like agave (tequila). So what about flowers?

It turns out that you can. And fittingly for the season, as the days turn warmer and we start to think about having a drink outside with friends in the long evenings, flowers turn out to make a rather lovely wine.

There are plenty of recipes out there, but we'll leave you with one from Hugh Fearnley-Wittingstall, originally taken from Channel 4's show "River Cottage". FOr this you'll need lots of pretty yellow gorse flowers -- gorse are prickly, so wear gloves!



  • 10 pints fresh gorse flowers (measure them with a pint glass)
  • 15 litres water
  • 1.7kg golden granulated cane sugar
  • Juice of 6 lemons
  • Brewer's yeast


How to make Hugh's gorseflower wine

1. Put the flowers with the water in a large pan. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes. Keeping the heat very low, add the sugar and stir until it has dissolved.

2. Pour into a bucket and add the lemon juice. Allow to cool to blood temperature, then add the yeast (follow the packet instructions for quantity).

3. Cover with a clean cloth or piece of muslin and leave to stand for three days, then strain the liquid and transfer to a demi john with an airlock. Make sure all the yeast goes through. Leave to ferment. When fermentation has ceased (about 2 weeks), syphon into sterilised bottles and seal.

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