It is amazing the number of things that you grow or can find on an allotment site that you can use to make your own unique beverage. There is nothing more satisfying than gowing, harvesting and collecting your own ingredients to make super tasting beers, wines and other delightful concoctions.

Rhubarb champagne

2lb rhubarb
1 sliced lemon
8 pints of cold water
1 lb sugar
1 dessert spoon of vinegar
nylon curtain to strain it

Blackberry WIne

2½ lb blackberries

½ lb sultanas

Campden tablets
2 lb sugar

Wine yeast



Wash rhubarb and cut up roughly, add sugar, finely sliced lemon, vinegar & water...Let stand for 24 hours, stirring occasionally to dissolve the sugar.

Strain through nylon curtain. Bottle and seal tightly. Screw-top coke bottles are good because they allow for expansion from gas...

The champagne is ready to drink in a few days, but becomes alcoholic after 2 weeks....The drink is very sweet the first few days, this is when my kids drink it as it is not alcoholic yet.

I prefer it sweet, and we generally drink it chilled. After bottling, I taste it every day until I get the flavour I like, then pop it in the fridge to stop fermentation. All of it must go in the fridge if you like a sweet wine.....

Over time the sugar is converted to alcohol with fermentation. The longer the fermentation the dryer the 'wine' due to less sugar.......

For a sweet wine, once it reaches the desired flavour, store all of it in the fridge to stop fermentation.
For a dry wine, store at room temperature in a cool place to allow a longer fermentation . Once again, when it reaches the desired flavour place it in the fridge. Bottles will expand greatly with this method, hence the plastic coke bottles.....

Remember if wanting a dry wine, the bottles can warp and explode....The gas needs to be released once in a while....

you will be amazed at the lovely pink coloured drink you get....
very yummy.


5 litre/1 gallon white plastic food grade bin and lid
5 litre/1 gallon demijohn either glass or plastic
Cork with hole and airlock
Fine nylon Straining bag
Hydrometer/Trial Jar
Full Instructions

Wash the fruit well. Place the fruit in a white food grade bin with lid. Pour over the fruit 2 pints of boiling water, stir well, crushing the fruit gently. When cool, add one teaspoon of Pectolase. Cover and leave at room temperature over night. The next day dissolve the sugar in 2 pints of hot water and add to the bin of blackberries. When cool add a good wine yeast and yeast nutrient. Cover closely with the lid and leave in a warm place for 4 to 5 days (75of/21C).

After 4 to 5 days strain the liquid into a demijohn and leave for the rest of the fermentation time under cork and airlock. Top up to the neck of the demijohn with cool boiled water. Leave in a warm place out of direct sunlight (75of/21C)

Leave until fermentation has ended. There will be some sediment at the bottom of the demijohn so the wine will need to be racked off into a clean vessel and a campden tablet added to preserve the wine. If using a hydrometer the finished S.G. should read 0.998 or lower.

The wine can now be left to mature in a cool place or if crystal clear, bottled. If you would like to sweeten the wine add a non-fermenting wine sweetener.

TIP: For a delicious variation to this recipe try adding either 1lb of Elderberries or 2lb of cut up Apples to each gallon of wine at the bin stage.

Rosehip Wine
2 1/2 lb / 1,100 grams fresh rosehips
1 lemon
1 orange
3 lb / 1,350 grams sugar
Pectin enzyme
Water up to 1 gallon
Yeast nutrient
Wine yeast

Crush the rose hips, place in a fermentation bucket and pour the boiling water over them. When cool add the pectin enzyme and cover and leave for 24 hours. Add the sugar and stir well to dissolve. Add the orange and lemon juice, the yeast nutrient and the wine yeast. Cover and leave for five days in a warm place, stirring daily. Strain through a fine sieve and put into a demijohn and fit an airlock to seal the jar.

Store in a warm place and allow the fermentation to work. When fermentation has ceased, rack the wine into a clean jar and place in a cooler environment and leave. When the wine is clear and stable siphon into bottles.