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Requested Recipe:

CHAMOMILE WINES


"Right now I seem to have a surplus of chamomile,
loose and in tea bags. Judging from my tries with tea,
I think this might make an excellent light-bodied sweet
wine. Do you have a recipe?"
Tevildo




CHAMOMILE TEA


Chamomile tea is made from the dried flowerheads of the chamomile plant. Indeed, you can make wine from them. I have two recipes, each distinctly different. In addition, Leo Zanelli, in "Home Winemaking from A to Z" states, "Chamomile has a very powerful, fragrant scent which, while producing an excellent wine, can be disastrous if too much is used. Use the recipe for Broom Wine, cutting down the flower heads to only one-quarter of the amount." This would be about a quart of flower heads, undried, which might reduce to 1-1/2 pts dried and crushed. Personally, I would use less (as in the first recipe, below) and add flowers if I deemed necessary. The second recipe below makes a carrot wine which is then infused with fresh chamomile flowers to lend fragrance and a hint of flavor. Since carrot wine is excellent to begin with, I would think this recipe would make an excellent wine also. Since you have the tea rather than the fresh flowers, I would think you could add a quantity of tea and achieve the same effect.


Chamomile Wine (1)

Mix sugar in water and bring to boil, stirring frequently to dissolve. Put chamomile flowers in jelly bag and tie closed. Put bag in primary. When sugar is dissolved and water comes to boil, pour over bag of chamomile flowers. Drip drain bag several times to allow flavor of flowers to seep into water. Taste. If flavor is not strong enough, add more flowers. Cover primary with cloth and let cool to room temperature. Add all remaining ingredients except yeast and stir to dissolve. Add crushed Campden tablet and stir. Every few hours drip drain bag(s) to continue extracting flavor. After 24 hours, add activated yeast. Recover and stir daily for 5 days. Remove bag(s) of chamomile and discard. When specific gravity reaches 1.020 or lower, rack to secondary and fit airlock. Ferment 30 days, rack, top up and refit airlock. Rack every additional 60 days for 6 months. Stabilize and sweeten to taste. After 10 days, rack into bottles. Allow to age in dark place 6 months before tasting. Will improve to about two years. [Adapted from Terry Garey's The Joy of Home Winemaking]


Chamomile Wine (2)

Scrub carrots but do not peel. Thinly slice into 6 pts water and boil until carrots are tender. In separate pan, bring 1-1/2 pts water to boil. Strain carrots and set aside for eating. Pour water over sugar in primary. Stir until dissolved. In small pan, add chamomile flowers, stir and steep as if making tea. Combine the two waters in primary and cover until cool. Add remaining ingredients, stir and transfer to secondary. Ferment under airlock until it clears, then rack for first time. Rack again every 2 months until completely clear and no more lees are laid down. Stabilize and sweeten to taste. After 10 days, rack into bottles. Allow to age in dark place 6-12 months. [Adapted from C.J.J. Berry's 130 New Winemaking Recipes]


My thanks to Tevildo for this request.

This page was updated on February 22nd, 2000

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