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Requested Recipe:


"Do you have a recipe for day lily wine?" requestor unknown


The problem with day lilies is that there are around 60,000 varieties in the world and most -- but not all -- are edible while some cause nausea, diarrhea and vomiting if ingested. My sources say you have to gorge yourself on the bad ones to experience this, or eat some of the green stem attached to the flower base. My personal problem is that I donít know which are and which are not edible.

But I have learned that the very first day lilies imported to Colonial America were edible and quickly escaped into the wild. The large clumps of wild day lilies found throughout the Eastern United States and Canada are descendants of those early escapees. Known botanically as Hemerocallis fulva, this common day lily is perfectly safe to eat and make wine with. As for me, I have only made wine from flowers given to me and certified as edible. If you know that your lilies are edible, then you might try the following recipe.

Common day lilies
Hemerocallis fulva, the common day lily, is safe for winemaking

This recipe makes a wine with 12-1/2% alcohol by volume. Do not make it stronger than this or the alcohol will mask the flavor of the flower. I like this wine slightly sweet, and by "slightly" I mean with a specific gravity of 1.002 to 1.004. Serve it chilled. When the season is right, serve it on the patio with a salad garnished with day lily petals.

Day Lily Wine

Pick petals only and wash. Be careful to remove all green portions of stem, as this can cause illness. Put petals in nylon straining bag, tie closed, and set in primary. Meanwhile, bring one quart of water to a boil and stir in sugar until dissolved. Remove from heat and quickly pour over nylon bag in primary. Cover primary and set aside for five minutes. Add remaining water and white grape juice concentrate to cool the must. Stir in the remaining ingredients and activated yeast, cover, and put in a warm place for five days, squeezing bag gently each day. Drip drain and discard petals. Pour liquid into secondary fermentation vessel and fit airlock. When wine clears, rack into clean secondary, top up and refit airlock. Rack, top up and refit airlock every 30 days as long as even a fine dusting of lees form. When wine stops throwing sediment for 30 days, rack into bottles and age 6-12 months before tasting. [Author's own recipe.]

My thanks to the requestor for requesting this recipe.


This page was updated July 24th, 2005

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