As the weather breaks we have one thing on our minds – foraging for new ingredients! This time we’re on a hunt for fragrant Balsam Poplar buds.

With few budding trees in Tamworth, we grabbed an axe and made our way up to Coos County to meet with UNH Forester Brendan Prusik and Agricultural Educator Steve Turaj. With their help, we collected a hefty supply of plump buds, allowing for a piece of New Hampshire in every bottle.

Maybe it’s because we’ve got a thing for booze, but to us, a lawn full of dandelions means a belly full of wine.

We took advantage of the vibrant florets sprouting up in New Hampshire and starting plucking our way to a batch of homemade Dandelion wine. Like most wine, each batch takes time to fully develop, but there’s nothing like a sweet glass of spring in the dead of winter. Here’s how it’s done!



1 gallon freshly picked dandelions

1 gallon water

2 pounds raw sugar

1 pound organic golden raisins

2 organic lemons

2 organic oranges

1 packet wine yeast


1. Collect the blossoms when they are fully open on a sunny day.  Remove any green sepals as they will impair fermentation.

2. Prepare the oranges and the lemon. Juice citrus fruits and set aside. Cut remaining rinds into thin strips to minimize the amount of white pith added to the brew.

3. Add peels, juice, dandelion petals, raisins, & sugar into a large crock. Pour 1 gallon of boiled water over ingredients and steep for 3 days.

4. Strain the liquid through a cheesecloth until all solids are removed and pour into a large fermenting vessel with an airlock. Add yeast and seal.

5.  When the mixture has stopped bubbling (about 2 weeks) fermentation is complete. Siphon wine to remove lees (sediment) and pour into sterilized wine bottles. Cork and store in a cool, dark place for at least 6 months.