Get yourself a glass of wine, and cheers to a new beginning! Most often, if not always, wine is a part of every celebration or mishap. It helps us forget and be merry if we get through a difficult time. Also, wine adds a buzz when we are celebrating a momentous occasion.
It’s said that in terms of liquor, everyone could choose his/ her own poison. And wine is definitely one of the universal drinks that everyone loves. Also, it comes in different varieties as well; here comes the red, white, or rose. It can be infused with other drinks – both alcoholic or non-alcoholic, and fruits like orange, apple, grapes, and you can now enjoy a delightful glass of sangria. It can also be fruity, dry, or floral. Yep, you’ve read it right – there’s a floral wine. As the art of winemaking evolves, floral wine is becoming a hit. Among the common floral wine varieties are lavender, acacia, iris, hibiscus, jasmine, peony, magnolia, and lilac wine.
Lavender is said to have a herbal taste with hints of pine. Acacia is sweet and honey-like. Iris has a slightly fruity with hints of a berry taste. Hibiscus is tart and cranberry-like. Jasmine is smooth and honey-like. Peony tastes like honey with a hint of grapefruit. Magnolia is tangy with a muscat flavor. Lastly, lilac has a peppery and crisp taste and aroma.
Lilac as a Flower
Lilac comes from the same family as the olive tree. Compared to other flowers, lilac was said to have a short blooming time with an average of only three (3) weeks. Also, it’s known for its pleasant smell, making it a popular choice amongst perfume and cosmetic makers. It can also be used as an essential oil that treats skin disorders, preventing fungal infection and bacteria formation. The aroma of lilac is also said to aid depression and increases relaxation.
Syringa Vulgaris is Lilac’s scientific name. It is derived from the Greek word “syrinks”, which means pipe. According to Greek mythology, it was said that Pan – the god of forests and fields was hopelessly in love with a nymph Syringa. Pan keeps on taking advantage of Syringa that she had to turn herself into a lilac shrub consists of hollow reeds. Pan never found Syringa again, but he found the lilac shrub and cut it reeds, creating a panpipe.
“Lilac” comes from the French and Spanish word “Lila”. It refers to the light purple color of the flower. However, a lilac flower doesn’t only come in light purple color. Also, there are other variants which are white, blue, violet, and magenta. It was also said that each color has its own meaning.
White symbolizes purity and innocence. Blue symbolizes happiness and tranquility, and violet lilac represents spirituality. Magenta symbolizes love and passion. Lastly, the color lilac was said to symbolize first love. Also, it symbolizes a new beginning, spring, and renewal. It is also used to symbolized love, romance, and confidence. To put it simply, the lilac flower has a strong association with love and passion.
Isn’t it such a romantic drink? Given its origin and symbolism, lilac wine sounds like a good drink for a relaxed, peaceful late afternoon or evening drink with a loved one.
Homemade Recipe for Lilac Wine
Prepare the following ingredients and follow these eight (8) easy steps and have yourself your own lilac wine.
Ingredients for the Lilac Wine
- 6 cups lilac flower (strip off from its stem and leaves)
- A few quarts of water
- 5 – 6 cups of Sugar
- 3 – 4 pcs blueberries
- 3 – 4 pcs lemons (squeezed into juice)
- 1 teaspoon yeast nutrient
- Wine yeast
- Tannin powder / Earl Grey Tea
Step by Step Recipe for Lilac Wine
- Tediously wash the strip off lilac flowers. Make sure that all the stems and leaves were removed.
- Transfer the lilac flower into a wide mouth fermentation jug.
- In a pan, boil a few quarts of water and sugar. Once the sugar was dissolved, add the blueberries to the mixture. The blueberries will give the lilac wine a good kick and will add on a lovely color.
- When syrup cools down, add it then to the fermentation jug.
- Add lemon juice to the mixture. The chemical reaction of mixing lemon into the lilac water will make the mixture pinkish.
- Add the wine yeast and yeast nutrient. It will provide the needed micro-nutrients to feed the yeasts.
- This is optional, but you may also add a small amount of tanning powder in order to even out the flavors of the wine. In case you find it hard to look for tannin powder or you’re not very familiar with it, you may opt to use an earl grey tea. Brew a cup of earl grey tea and add it to the mixture. Adding earl grey tea to your wine will give it hints of bergamot.
- Lastly, allow the mixture to start the initial fermentation for 7 -10 days. Make sure that the lilac flower will not float on the mixture.
- After the initial fermentation, you may transfer the mixture to another fermentation to allow it to ferment longer, around 2 -3 months, but in order to let the flavor evolve, you may let it ferment for up to 6 months.
Potential Health Benefits
Lilac extract has been said to have a lot of benefits; infusing it into wine makes no difference. Firstly, it is said to aid skin problems like rashes, sunburns, fungal infections, minor cuts, and even scrapes. Also, Lilac has been said to have tightening and astringent qualities, allowing to clean skin surface and making the healing of the wound faster. Secondly, it aids digestive problems like constipation and flatulence. The earliest writings that indicate the potential benefit of lilac also mentioned the use of lilac in cooling down fever due to malaria.
After learning more about lilac’s origin as a flower up to creating your own lilac wine, may you also be more open to trying this variant of wine. Wine indeed is already a sophisticated drink but appreciating its other variants also offers us to have a taste of what nature can offer. If you are up for a floral, peppery, and crisp tasting wine, go have a toss of lilac wine tonight.