Wildcrafted Wine: Delightful Daylily

Lovely, regal daylilies have once again made their appearance, their relentlessly optimistic, fiery orange blooms turned upward to face the sun. While they may certainly be appreciated for their beauty, did you know that the blossoms are edible?

Neither did I…but once I learned that they are, I immediately began researching ways to use them. This Mother Earth News article describes several interesting ways to use them: How To Sustainably Harvest Daylilies.

The fridge is full of infused syrup now – black locust flower, honeysuckle, lemon balm – so I decided to look for a day lily wine recipe. I didn’t find many, and I needed one that would work with the ingredients I had on hand. My recipe is adapted from A Snail’s Pace Daylilies wine recipe: Daylily Recipes.

I started by harvesting the daylilies, carefully cutting the blooms from the stalks. I’m loath to cut flowers because they inevitably die (prematurely) afterward; in this case, however, these blooms would only have lived the day, then closed forever. In wine, they’ll be enjoyed and appreciated for many days!

After harvesting a couple of quarts, I poured hot sugar water over the blooms (having already cut off any stems and green parts) and let it steep for about 3 hours. The orange blossoms turned the liquid a light purple color, which was surprising. Once the infusing time had elapsed, I strained off the blooms and added the remaining ingredients (I subbed about a cup of chopped raisins for the apple juice) to the mix. I also used Premier Cuvée champagne yeast.

In the primary fermenter, the color looks more reddish than purple…

The next day, the mixture was happily fizzing away in the fermenter. I’ll stir it daily and move it to a secondary fermenter in a couple of days.

Have you tried day lily wine? Tell us about it in the comments…and stay tuned for updates!

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