I’ve been inspired by the glorious perfumes that fill the air in spring. Where we live, there happens to be a Lilac tree in the back yard, and after a weekend of rain in May, which gives such a fresh, sensuous side to the delicate flowers’ smell, I decided to collect enough fresh flower spikes to make a gallon of wine. Thanks and prayers were offered in return, of course.
Here is the recipe I used to make the wine. If you’re leary of using lilacs, the flavour is quite similar to jasmin.
1 Gallon Lilac Wine
3/4 lb Lilac flowers, no stems/branches/leaves
2 lbs sugar/5 cups
Black tea bag
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 packet Red Star champagne yeast
Remove the flowers from the spikes, ensuring there are no green bits left.
Rinse the flowers.
Add half a gallon boiling water to steep them. That’s about 2 litres.
Steep anywhere from 1/2 hour to overnight. I had made a tea beforehand to gauge the strength of flavour and aroma. The different colours of Lilac have different strengths in aroma.
Start the yeast about 1/2 hour to an hour before pitching it in warm water with sugar and a few raisins.
Strain out, and press as much of the the liquid from the flowers as is possible. Add the sugar to the floral tea, mix until dissolved. Add brewed black tea and lemon juice.
Place in primary fermenter, fill with warm water (about 25°C/75°F). Leave enough room for yeast water and some head space in case it bubbles a lot. Shake or stir the primary fermenter to get lots of oxygen in there.
Add the yeast. Place airlock, and keep an eye on it in case it bubbles a lot. It shouldn’t cause much problem though as there is little solid material in it.