May Blossom (or Hawthorn Flower) Wine

“The darling buds of May” become May Blossom or Hawthorn flower-these can be either red or white.

Collect them in a tub or basket (do not use a polythene carrier bag) then move quickly and spread them out onto kitchen towel roll.


  • 1-1.5lt/2-3pts of blossoms
  • 1.2kg/2¾lb Tate & Lyle granulated sugar
  • 1 small tin of white wine concentrate (or use 250g of minced sultanas)
  • 1½tsp tartaric acid
  • 1tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 x 3mg Vitamin B tablet
  • ¼tsp wine tannin (or ½ cup cold strong tea)
  • 1 sachet Unican general purpose wine yeast
  • 2 Campden tablets
  • 1tsp fermentation stopper


  1. Rinse the flowers in 1lt/2pt of water, with a crushed Campden tablet in it, to remove any insects, wild yeasts etc. Drain the flowers through a sieve.
  2. Boil 850ml/1½pt water and dissolve the sugar. Pour this syrup over the flowers in a bucket, and make up to 1 gallon with cold water.
  3. Now add all the other ingredients except the fermentation stopper, and the remaining Campden tablet. Cover with a clean tea-towel and keep warm, stirring twice daily for 3 days.
  4. After the 3 days strain the liquid, through a muslin bag, into a sterilized Demi-john. Fit a bubbler (airlock) and bung. Place somewhere warm, any room in a centrally heated house will do. When the S.G is below 1000 (or 1 plop every 30 seconds) the wine is ready for the next stage.
  5. Rack off i.e. transfer by syphon into another sterilized Demi-john. Add the tsp of fermentation stopper and another crushed Campden tablet.
  6. Taste the wine, it should be OK, but if you are like my wife you will need to add 1-2oz of sugar (I suggest Tate & Lyle caster sugar). Stir thoroughly and leave for 1 hour. Taste again and if necessary add ½-1oz more sugar and then after another hour taste again. You can use a wine sweetener liquid, but beware, too sweet and it will give you a headache.

Bottle up now and seal with quality corks, plastic shrinks and some good quality labels (not post-it notes, please). Leave for at least a month, then chill and enjoy, do not leave too long a month at most.