Hibiscus-Flower Wines, Sherries, and/or Meads

Hibiscomel (Hibiscus Mead)

April 5, 2001
  • 1.5 oz dried hibiscus flowers
  • 2 lbs premium grade honey
  • 3 liters water
  • 1.75 tsp citric acid
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 sachet Champagne or mead yeast

Boil the honey in half the water, stirring occasionally until the honey is dissolved. Reduce heat to simmer
for 30 minutes, skimming all scum off top as it forms. Tie flowers in nylon straining bag and place in primary.
Pour the hot honey-water over flowers and stir in citric acid and yeast nutrient. Cover primary and set aside
until it assumes room temperature. Add activated yeast as a starter solution and recover the primary to keep
dust and insects out. Stir daily and punch down nylon bag until vigorous fermentation subsides. Remove
straining bag and transfer mead to secondary fermentation vessel. Attach airlock and top up with water when
fermentation ceases. Retain in secondary for 60 days from transfer date. Rack to a sanitized secondary, top up
and reattach airlock. Set aside undisturbed for 60 days and rack again. If brilliantly clear, wait 30 days to
see if light dusting develops on bottom. If so, wait additional 30 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock
for another 30 days. If not brilliantly clear, wait full 60 days and rack, top up and reattach airlock. Then
follow previous instructions when mead is brilliantly clear. Sulfite with one finely crushed and dissolved
Campden tablet, bottle and set aside to age one year minimum. [Recipe adapted by author from creation by Brian
Ryan, Western Australian]

Hibiscus Flower Wine

April 5, 2001
  • 1-2 oz dried hibiscus flowers
  • 2 lbs sugar
  • 7 pt water
  • 1-1/2 tsp acid blend
  • 1 tsp yeast nutrient
  • 1 pkg Cote des Blancs yeast

Dried whole or crushed flowers are available from many specialty and health food stores and are used to make a delicious tea. Combine water and sugar and put on to boil, stirring occasionally until sugar is dissolved. Tie flowers in nylon straining bag and put in primary. Pour boiling sugar-water over flowers and stir in all ingredients except yeast. Cover primary until water cools to room temperature. Squeeze flowers to extract maximum flavor and then discard flowers or use for tea. Add activated yeast, recover primary, and stir daily until active fermentation dies down (7-8 days). Rack to secondary, top up with water and fit airlock. Ferment 30 days then rack into clean secondary. Refit airlock and rack again after additional 30 days. Wait a final 2 months, rack again and stabilze wine. After 10-14 days, bottle in dark glass. May drink immediately, but improves in six months. [Author’s own recipe]