Rhodo is a flower that grows in the forest of the lower Himalaya Mountain Range. From Himachal to Uttrakhand to Nepal to Sikkim to Meghalaya it is found in abundance. This flower’s juice has the property of lowering one’s metabolism and help cure sun/heat strokes. If you want to carry a bit of Himalaya back with you on your next trip to India, then a bottle of Rhododendron wine is a great choice.
Today we are going to talk about step by step guide on how to make the flower wine from this unique flower.
- boiling pot
- fermenter with airlock
- 300 gm flowers per kg of wine
- 240 gm Honey (or sugar)
- 1 gm Rose wine or red wine yeast
- Wash the flowers. Do remember that flowers are very volumenous. Hence you will need a very large basket to collect and clean them.
- Remove the stem and the non petal portion of the flowers. These portions render the wine bitter and don't have any flavors or aromas to help the wine anyways.
- After through washing the flowers, steep them in hot water. It releases the color and flavors. (remember how rose petals turn white when boiled). Rhododendron and hibiscus are full of color. Hence they don't turn white, but the water turns deep red and aromatic
- After about 15 minutes of steeping, stain the petals out and add honey or sugar syrup. Remember don't boil the petal as it makes them too bitter
- Add some yeast nutrient, acid blend and wait for the solution to cool down. After that add the yeast and wait for the fermentation to complete. You can add bentonite and pectin enzyme to make the wine clear.
- Open the fermenter and siphon the wine. Add isinglass and allow the wine to age for another 2-4 weeks.
- Flower wine tastes best when sweet. Adding about 30gm per liter (3%) residual sweetness at the time of serving is best. If you are backsweeten the wine, add some wine stabilizer (potassium sorbate) to aid in bottling and improving the shelf life.