“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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Rack off i.e. transfer by syphon into another sterilized Demi-john. Add the tsp of fermentation stopper and another crushed Campden tablet.
- 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.