Broom is a number of months from flowering but gorse is in season and will be except for the hight of summer – both flowers use the same recipe. It should be noted that broom is toxic and that rarely is it mentioned in recipes online so proceed with it with caution. The flowers can be made into a technically easy to make wine though it needs a decent afternoon to pick the flowers needed for it. It also requires some dexterous fingers or gloves as gorse are covered with spines on their stems.
3 to 4.5 litres of lightly packed flowers are simmered in boiling water with some tea and raisins adding body. Gorse creates a light coconut tasting wine that mellows in the bottle. The time of year the flowers are harvested can alter the taste and some make gorse and rose petal wine with two litres of gorse flowers and on lire of fresh rose petals.
GORSE WINE – 4.5 litres
Suitable yeasts – EC1118, SN9 or CY17
3.5 to 5 litres gorse flowers
4.5 litres water
1kg-ish sugar to 1.09SG
500g chopped raisins
2 lemons – juice and zest only (no pith)
Half cup of strong tea
White wine yeast
1. Bring the water to a boil and add the gorse flowers – simmer for 15 minutes.
2. Add most of the sugar, the raisins, lemon rind and tea
3. Once cool adjust sugar to 1.09SG, add the yeast and nutrient and stir twice a day.
4. Sieve and squeeze into secondary when fermentation starts to slow
5. Rack at five weeks and then if needed every 2 or 3 months. Bottle when clear.
Leave at least 12 months to mature before drinking though 18 months is best.