Chrysanthemum Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads
- Allergy: asthematics or others who suffer allergic reactions to composite-type flowers may have allergic reactions to chrysanthemums,
- Minor Toxicity: ingestion may cause some minor symptoms such as rash, vomiting or diarrhea, but generally ingestion of small amounts will not cause any adverse symptoms at all.
- Dermatitis: exposure to juice or sap from these plants may produce a skin rash or irritation
Having said that, let me add that most people will suffer none of these reactions from eating the flowers and fewer still will suffer from enjoying a glass of chrysanthemum wine. Most toxicity lists err on the side of caution, listing such staples as apples, apricots, and even mustard.
- 2 qts chrysanthemum petals, not packed
- 1 11-oz. can Welch’s 100% White Grape Juice Frozen Concentrate
- 1-3/4 lbs finely granulated sugar (to S.G. of 1.090)
- 1 tsp tartaric acid
- 1 crushed Campden tablet
- 1/4 tsp tannin
- 1 tsp yeast nutrient
- 6-1/2 pts water
- 1 pkt Champagne, Sauternes or Hock wine yeast
Remove the petals from the flowers. Bring 1 qt water to boil and stir in sugar until dissolved. Put flower petals, grape juice concentrate, acid, tannin, and yeast nutrient in primary. Pour boiling water over flower petals and cover primary. Let set 24 hours and strain, discarding flowers and returning liquid to primary, Add remaining water and activated yeast. When vigorous fermentation subsides, transfer to secondary and fit airlock. When all fermentation ceases, rack to sanitized secondary containing finely crushed Campden tablet, top up and attach airlock. When wine clears, rack again, top up and refit airlock. After 60 days, rack, stabilize, top up, and refit airlock. After additional 60 days, rack only if sediment warrants, sweeten to taste, and bottle wine. Allow 3 months before tasting. Will improve for about 1 year, then should be consumed. [Author’s own recipe]