I woke up one morning and the dandelions were gone.
No, it wasn’t a dystopian nightmare of manicured suburban lawns sprayed into submission until they glittered the perfect grass green.
The dots of sunshine that littered my yard had transformed into the puffballs of every child’s delight. I had missed the window for dandelion wine.
Dandelions enjoy a huge surge of flowers in the spring, followed by occasional blossoms the rest of the year. And there were some dots of yellow hiding here and there among the fescue. Just not the staggering quantities one needs for wine.
We’re talking a gallon of flowers, and for best flavor that entails pulling off the bitter green bits. Who’s got time for that? Picking apart a gallon of dandelion flowers would take forever. Maybe next weekend… or the weekend after that… oops?
It’ll be OK though. I have a backup plan: my slacker approach to dandelion liqueur! Yes, dandelion liqueur is a Thing. Here’s my (very unscientific) method. In a glass jar, place petals (technically ray flowers – yes, that is scientific). Cover with vodka. Continue collecting petals when they become available, and continue covering with vodka when needed. Allow to steep until … well, until it tastes dandelion-flower-y. (Test tasting is my favorite part.) Once the infusion has steeped long enough, strain the petals and add simple syrup to sweeten (also to taste).
I’ll get started on that dandelion liqueur… next weekend… or the weekend after that…