As a result of trialing different composts last year I had an abundance of parsley seedlings (Unwins Italian Plain Leaved Parsley) growing all around our house last spring. After several years of growing I still find it hard to throw away healthy little plants (makes thinning out tricky) so kept potting them on and giving them away until I was left with about 20.
Then the polytunnel went up and suddenly there were lots of empty beds just waiting to be planted. At last, a home for my little plants. I placed them amongst the marigolds and tomatoes and left them to it. Within about a month they had quadrupled in size and we realised very quickly that one or two would have been enough to feed our family. So what can you do with that much parsley? There's only so much sauce one can eat! And then it came to us - Parsley Wine.
We had several old demijohns and associated paraphernalia in the shed so at the end of July, dusted it all down, washed and sterilised it and went harvesting. I picked just over 1.1kg (two & a half pounds) of leaves and stems and used the following method to make the wine:
Tore the parsley into pieces and placed it into a large fermenting bucket, covered it with 9 ltrs of boiling water and left it for 24 hours, covered with a tea towel.
Strained it into a large pan (had to do this in two batches) and added 60g fresh root ginger, rinds of 4 oranges and lemons and boiled for 20 minutes.
Put 2.8kg of caster sugar into the brewing bucket and poured the liquor on top, stirring until it had dissolved. Then added the juice of the oranges and lemons.
Left it to cool then added some wine yeast (this was tricky to buy and in fact we couldn't find wine yeast as such so had to settle for a yeast that said it was suitable for home brewing. We've since found a home brewing website for our next efforts). The mixture was left in the bucket for the next two weeks, covered, and the scum removed until the mad fermentation had died down.
The liquor was then strained into two demijohns, fitted with airlocks and left in the hot press until today!
I've been collecting wine bottles with screw cap lids in readiness so washed and sterilised ten ready for the brew, which was siphoned in to them this afternoon.
Initial tasting is sweet but hopeful. It tastes like wine and is crystal clear. We now have to store them away for another six months before we can really get stuck in. So fingers crossed and if anybody's visiting in late July or August, guess what we'll be drinking ...!
We're now trawling through the old books to see what we can grow and brew next!