|The Base Ingredients
Our rhubarb is past its best, so I picked the majority of my 3 lbs the previous weekend, sliced it thinly and put it in the freezer. The defrosted rhubarb gave an air of limpness and exhaustion in its bowl.
|The Elderflower tree I picked from
I went foraging for elderflowers on Sunday morning, 11th June and picked far more than I needed in half an hour (most of which was taken up with travelling to and from the source). I stripped the flowers from their stalks in the garden, achieving a discoloured thumbnail in the process. Doing this outside meant that the insects I had collected had an opportunity to escape and our windows would not be covered by tiny flies. I stopped stripping once I had a pint of flowers (this took about an hour) and I will compost the rest.
|Elderflowers that went into the wine
For the mint, I gathered both spear and peppermint from our garden - a slightly larger handful than the two previous years, and sliced this up.
|Spearmint from our garden
All the ingredients went into my bucket and I poured in six and a half pints of boiling water, releasing a heavy scent of both elderflower and mint into the kitchen. I then added 3 lbs of sugar. The yeast and a teaspoon each of pectolase, nutrient and tannin went in on Monday morning, 12th June, before I walked my six miles to work.
|The ingredients in my bucket
I put the liquid into its demijohn on Friday evening. As I was pouring the last of the wine from the bucket into the jug, I heard a clunk of something solid hitting the jug. It was the half-ounce weight - made from brass. I had used this when weighing rhubarb and forgotten to remove it. It is now noticeably shinier than the other weights in its set and I fear that I have ruined the wine. If it has a metallic taste, this will be why.
|Less pink than pure rhubarb