Elderberry Wine (Port wine)
Makes 3 quarts approximately
4 quarts of loosely packed elderberries (dark ripe)
2 quarts of boiling water
Jelly bag or several layers of cheesecloth
6 cups white sugar
1 cup of chopped muscat raisins (or golden)
When picking the elderberries, you can either cut the clusters off the tree or break them (pretty easily). Remove the elderberries from the stems using your hands or you can also use a regular comb. Place the elderberries in the gallon-size jar and place it in a sink full of hot water. Bring the 2 quarts of water to boiling, then pour the water over the elderberries. Line the jar lid with a piece of plastic wrap and place the lid on top of the jar, screwing it on loosely. Set the jar outside in a sunny spot for 3 days or until the elderberries are floating in the jar. The liquid will be a beautiful deep red color.
Strain the berry mixture through the jelly bag—squeezing as much juice as possible from the berries. Put this back into the glass jar and stir in the sugar, stirring until it is dissolved completely. Add the chopped raisins and recap loosely with the plastic-lined lid. Set in a warm place indoors for 3 weeks. (Our garage works great!)
After 3 weeks, strain the mixture again. Siphon into clean sterilized wine bottles. Cork lightly or place balloons over the openings. When the fermentation is completed, cork tightly. It takes approximately one year for the wine to develop full flavor.
Makes about 3 quarts of port wine.