DIY Wine Recipes Perfect For Entertaining

It’s a given that a gathering will most likely involve offering your guests nibbles. Whether you’re a sucker for hors d’oeuvres or you favour a five course dining experience; it’s a great way to impress your friends and family with treats they’ll be talking about for days later.

But if you really want to blow their minds, why not put some effort into making your own wines from scratch? You don’t have to be an expert to create dazzling, fruity concoctions; it just takes a little time and patience.

You can make wine from pretty much any fruit- just be sure to plan ahead because some brews can take over a year to ferment. Here are a few recipes for those looking to create their own spectacular seasonal wines!

Honey Mead

This is a simple and tasty recipe for a drink that goes back to around 2000 BC! A sweet, honeyed wine often referred to as “the nectar of the Gods”; this versatile recipe can serve as a base for further fruit or spice additions once you’re into the swing of making it.

You Will Need:

• A clean gallon jug (glass is better than plastic)

• 2 Pints of Honey

• Warm water to fill

• A cake of yeast

Pour the honey and water into the jug and shake vigorously to mix the two. Add your pack of yeast and leave the jug uncapped to stand in the sink overnight. The mix will froth and overflow the jug, so expect to get sticky! Once the mixture calms, you’ll need to get inventive with a top that allows gas to escape without letting air in. The best way to do this is to run a plastic hose through the otherwise sealed mouth of the jug; push the free end through a hole in a corkamorimcork DIY Wine Recipes Perfect For Entertaining
by Amorim Cork
, and let the end hang in a bucket of water. It helps to settle the jug on top of a vinyl tablecloth so that any spills or dribbles can be easily contained.

Put your wine away in a cool, dry place for two weeks. It’ll be ready to bottle when bubbles stop coming to the surface.

Difficulty Level: Beginner

Brewing Time: Two weeks

Image: Peppysis

Dandelion Wine

Dandelions are surprisingly nutritious and due to their considerable medicinal properties are in the top six herbs in the Chinese herbal medicine chest. They also offer a unique and refreshing flavour combination when combined with citrus, ginger and other warm spices.

You Will Need:

• 1 pack of dried yeast

• 1 kg of dandelion blossoms

• 2kg water

• 1 Cup of orange juice

• 3 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

• 3 tbsp. fresh lime juice

• 8 cloves

• ½ tsp. of powdered ginger

• 3 tbsp. of roughly chopped orange peel

• 1 tbsp. of roughly chopped lemon peel

• 6 cups of sugar

Wash your blossoms and drop them into a pan of water with the orange, lemon and lime juices. Add the cloves, ginger, orange and lemon peel and sugar; and bring the colourful mixture to the boil. Boil it all together for an hour before straining everything through a coffee filter and allowing the brew to cool. Whilst the liquid is still warm (but not hot!) stir in your yeast packet.

Allow the mixture to stand overnight, then decant into bottles. Allow the uncorked bottles to stand in a cool, darkened place- block the open necks with cheesecloth secured with a rubber band. Cork your bottles after three weeks and leave for six to twelve months before drinking. Serve with a picnic of cheesecakes atop a gingham tablecloth!

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Brewing Time: Six months to a year

Wild Berry Wine

Hedgerows are a bountiful source of blackberries and raspberries throughout the summer months; and elderflowers spring up around the same time! For a real taste of sunshine, try your hand at this rustic red.

You Will Need:

• 3 pounds of berries

• 3 pounds of sugar

• 1 lemon

• 1 pound of raisons

• ½ ounce of yeast

• 12 fresh elderflower heads

Pour the berries into a bucket that has been thoroughly cleaned and sanitised. Add one gallon of boiling water and mash the berries against the sides of the bucket before adding your raisons and flower heads. Cover the bucket and leave it to stand and infuse for four days.

Strain the mixture, and return the liquid back to the bucket, stirring in the sugar until it has dissolved. Pour in the juice of one lemon and sprinkle in the yeast before covering the bucket and leaving for another three days.

Strain the mixture and pour the liquid into a demijohn container; sealing the airlock. Leave for four to five months until the bubbling stops completely; decant into bottles and age for a further four months.

Difficulty Level: Intermediate

Brewing Time: Eight months

Has this made you want to experiment with home-made wines yourself? Comment below to share your favourite recipes!

Elise Leveque is a food and drink enthusiast who loves to be able to taste the time of year in her culinary creations!