Logged-in Menu

Rhubarb Wine

bottles of Rhubarb Wine on a tableIngredients

5 lbs Rhubarb
3.5 lbs Sugar
1 teasp. Ginger (ground or fresh)
Rind of an Orange
7 pints of water
1 tsp wine yeast

Preparation time: 9 months :-)

An entry in the class M160 Alcoholic drink x 1 bottle

This is a recipe from Sheila Emmett who says “We used an assortment of sources but not without first consulting our very very old Mary Woodman Home Made Wines book ( which was passed down to us from an aunt who lived in the New Forest), which usually includes some valuable tips. Unfortunately I do not know the variety but it is a very vigorous one and has been growing on the Canalside Allotments for many years.”

It is best to use mid season rhubarb which has the best flavour. Wipe the rhubarb clean and cut up into pieces, then freeze for a few days.

Put the water and the frozen rhubarb into a large pan and bring to the boil. Allow to cool then add the ginger and stand with a cover on for 3 to 4 days. Strain through a sieve into a sterilized fermentation container. Add the sugar and yeast and allow to ferment in a warm place until completion.

When the bubbling stops and the wine begins to clear it should be ready to syphon into bottles
It should be ready to drink after 9 months.

Elderflower Cordial

Elderflowers and sliced lemons in a silver coloured cooking potIngredients

30 elderflower heads
3 lemons (unwaxed, organic if possible)
3 lbs sugar
4 pints boiling water
2 oz citric acid (around 56gm)

Preparation time:
3-4 days

I rarely get asked for recipes – but this one works well, I’ve done it 3 times now. I’m afraid I can’t remember where I got it from, it’s scribbled on the back of an old bill, so I suspect I probably copied it out of a magazine, but I really don’t know! Anyway, here goes….

The elderflower heads aren’t any particular variety, I just cut whole flower heads with scissors from the many wild trees around me, best picked fully open but before any brown appears on them, on a sunny or at least fine dry day, I try to take them from several different trees, well away from any roads to avoid dust and pollution.
Shake the flower heads to dislodge any insects. Cut the flower heads from the stalks using scissors, so you include as much as possible of the white flowers and as little as possible of the stalks, into a large bowl or other suitable receptacle, preferably one with a lid (I use a white plastic winemaking bucket). Add the sugar. Pour on the boiling water and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Add the juice and grated rind from the lemons. Add the citric acid. (Citric acid can be hard to find, but Wilkinsons stocks it in their winemaking section) Stir. Cover with lid or similar.
Leave for 3 days, stirring each morning and evening.
Strain and bottle.
Dilute to taste. I used tap water, but it’s also nice with sparkling water.
If kept in the fridge will keep for several months.