Red Clover Wine
A number of people have asked me for a recipe for red clover wine, so here it is.
As with most of my wine recipes, it is adapted from Roger Phillips “Wild Food” this is one of my all time favourite books on wild food and I thoroughly recommend it.
2 litres of red clover blossom – I pick them into a litre jug to measure them. Press down lightly & add more til you get the amount.
1 litre white grape juice
1kg caster sugar
Pick your blossoms when they are freshly opened, with no brown bits. You need to use them immediately or they will turn brown. Scrupulously clean a bucket – I use sterilising powder. It will need to be large enough to hold a gallon of liquid ( I use a very large tupperware style 15 litre container with a lid. This means I can double up the ingredients to make enough for 2 demijohns if I want) Heat 3 litres of water with the sugar, stirring to dissolve. When it reaches the boil pour it over the red clover flowers. Add the chopped oranges & lemons. When it cools down to about blood temperature add your yeast. I use a teaspoon of Young’s dried active wine yeast. When cool add the litre of grape juice. This is to add tannins to the wine. You could add raisins instead or a teabag (if doing either of these you need to make up the extra litre of water)
Cover your bucket or container so no little insects can get in, a lid is best. Leave it for 5 days to start fermenting, then strain off into a super clean demi john. I cover the air gap with a piece of kitchen towel or muslin & elastic band for a couple of days before I fit the airlock while fermentation is very lively as I’ve had overspills in the past. When it calms down a little then I add enough cooled boiled water to bring the liquid just below the neck of the demi john.
Once it has finished fermenting, or there abouts, “rack” into a clean demijohn – syphon off the wine, I use a cheap plastic syphon tube from the home brew shop which cost a couple of pounds. This should leave the layer of sediment at the bottom. Leave to settle and clear, then it is ready for bottling and drinking. I found it was delicious immediately after I bottled it (about 4 months later) but did not keep well so I would advise quick drinking! I found it to be a mellow, refreshing wine. Red clover is said to be good for balancing estrogen and as a skin and blood cleanser, which is what I smugly told myself as I glugged my daily glass.
Let me know how you get on!