One of the signs around here that spring has finally sprung is the burst of gorgeous hues of lilac bushes that adorn many sidewalks and front yards in East Aurora. Lilac's aroma is ever so delightful, it's colors soft and romantic and it's delicate shape almost reminds me of a tiny bunch of grapes. I am lucky to have a pretty big Lilac bush in my front yard, right outside my living room window and it just makes the whole facade of the house look so beautiful. It's my sign that Spring has finally arrived and I always make sure I gather a big bunch to decorate my dining room table. But this year I am going to try something new. Recently, I was working in my front yard, when a girl stopped by and asked if she could take a few Lilacs form our Lilac bush to make Lilac wine. Immediately my ears got pointy and I started interrogating her about how to make this wonderful sounding elixir? It seems easy enough and I can't wait to make my own this week. Here is a good recipe I found at Leslie Land from Kitchen and Garden which is exactly what the girl I gave Lilacs to told me to do.
I'll make sure to post the results in about a month when the wine is ready.
What a great way to enjoy the Lilacs even after they're gone.
4 quarts lilac flowers, petals only
3 lb. sugar
juice of 2 lemons
1 oz. Montrachet yeast (available from winemaking supply stores). I was also told you can use the regular yeast they sell in stores. The one you use for pizza or bread.
1. Put the flowers in a large crock. Pour on 3 quarts boiling water, cover and let sit for 2 days.
2. Pour 1 pint boiling water over half the sugar to dissolve. Cool. Strain lilac mixture, squeezing. Return to crock with sugar water and lemon juice. Inoculate with the yeast.
3. Ferment 1 week. (if you like it stronger, and you have a little patience, you can ferment it for a whole month) Strain into gallon jar. Dissolve remaining sugar in a pint of boiling water, cool and add. Fit with fermentation lock and ferment until all activity ceases. Bottle.