Let’s make some Sparkling Rose Petal Wine! I am excited about this recipe because this is a brew you can all make, at just about any time of year. The list of ingredients is very short, and the star of the show– dried rose petals– can be found easily, either at your local herb shop, or online. The process is simple, and the only real hardship here is waiting and looking at that pretty wine until it’s ready. And the flavor is very special– so perfumey and rosey– perfect in the summertime.
How to Make Sparkling Rose Petal Wine
Here’s What You’ll Need:
- 50g Dried Organic Rose Petals* (You can order them here.)
- 3 Cardamom Pods (optional, find them here.)
- 6 Liters Filtered or Spring Water
- 2 lbs. Sugar
- 2 Lemons— preferably organic
- Champagne or Cider Yeast (You can order it here.)
*You can definitely use fresh petals as well, but the measurements will be different, since the fresh ones are heavier. I think this would convert to about 6 cups of fresh rose petals. Check out some of the recipes I reference below to get the correct measurements.
In terms of supplies, there are a few basic items you should have. You can often find these on craigslist, and definitely at a brewing supply store, or you can order them on amazon.
- Fermentation bucket
- Airlocks with rubber stoppers
- Siphon hose
- a funnel
- Wine bottles (we usually just sanitize our old ones), corks, and a corker, OR swing-top bottles
- Sterilization solution
There are quite a few ways to make rose petal wine. I think I chose the simplest method out there, but I would be interested in adding some extra dimension by following some recommendations in other recipes, such as using some black tea, adding raisins or other dried fruits, or using grape juice to replace some of the water and sugar. You can check out a few methods: 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. I pretty much just did the basics– brewing the tea, adding sugar and lemon juice, and adding the yeast. While some methods call for soaking the petals for a day or two, mine was in the demijohns within a day.
Alright, let’s get to it.
Here’s What to Do:
1. Fill a stock pot with fresh water, and add the rose petals and cardamom pods to it.
2. Put the pot on the stove, and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 15 minutes, then turn off the heat and allow the tea to cool. See how pale the petals become? All that gorgeous color is now yours.
3. Strain the liquid from the petals into another pot or brewing bucket. Press the liquid out of the rose petals, and compost them. Squeeze the juice from lemons into your liquid, and then add the sugar, stirring to dissolve.
4. Let you tea cool to body temperature, and add your yeast, sprinkling it on top of the mixture. Let that sit and dissolve for a couple of hours.
5. Decant your wine mixture evenly into two sterilized demijohns. Just look at that color! Add airlocks, and put it someplace dark with stable temperatures. I just put a dishtowel over mine, and keep it in the dining room.
6. Let it ferment, and rack it. The timing on this is not precise. Basically, you want to rack wine to remove sediments– the more times you rack it, the more clear your final wine will be. Since this is a sparkling wine, and I didn’t expect it to take that long to be ready, I actually didn’t rack it– but I probably should have done so at 3 weeks, when fermentation was slowing down. Racking is the process of moving the wine from one fermenting vessel to another, leaving behind yeasty lees and sediment. You do this with a syphon hose.
7. Taste it periodically, then bottle it. When it’s a bit sweeter than you want it to be, but getting reasonably close to your desired dryness, syphon your Rose Petal Wine into bottles. I bottled mine at about 5 weeks, but the yeast culture I was using was my home-grown one, and yours will behave differently than mine– so taste at least once a week (after 2 weeks) and make your own judgement. It is very important that you use swing-top bottles for this, since the brew will be building pressure as it digests the sugars. You risk having a big explosion in our home if you don’t use bottles that are designed to release small amounts of pressure.
8. Let it sit and ferment some more, and check on it. I put some wine into a regular wine bottle and corked it loosely– so I could open that up and taste it without releasing the fizz in the other bottles of wine. I recommend checking its progress this way! This part of the process took longer than I expected, but I have come to realize that my yeast culture was losing steam. If I had used a commercial yeast, I believe my wine would have finished much more quickly. So, this is the final step– you decide when it’s ready, according to dryness. Be aware that the longer you wait, the more pressure will have built up. I once let an apple cider sit for a long time, then lost almost the entire bottle to the “fountain effect” when I opened it (what I managed to save was deliciously dry and champagne-like though)– so just get involved and see where your brew is at now and then. Once you are getting to where you want to be, I would recommend moving your bottles someplace cool (fridge, even) to seriously slow the fermentation until you get around to drinking those bottles.
Check out all those tiny bubbles!