Rowan berry wine anyone?

My dad who was a scientist always said that rowanberries have a really high concentration of vitamin C but they were rarely used because no-one liked the flavour as they were so sour and bitter. I must say I have never tried one as l always what he said in my mind. Now we have a small mountain ash aka rowan growing and this year it has a fine crop of berries. My unusual preserves book doesn’t have any recipes which considering it has crab apples, elderberries an elderflower, haws, Japonica, medlars, hips quinces and whortleberries says something!

There are recipes for rowan berries should you fancy making something from any fruit you have in your garden, or come across growing wild while you’re out on a walk. I haven’t got one right here, but I do have a recipe for making rowan berry wine. This is from the little book by Ambrose Heath, Homemade Wines and Liqueurs. it was published nearly seventy years ago, and the way some of the recipes are written i wonder if some of them are much older.

Rowanberry Wine

  1. pick the berries when they are perfectly ripe
  2. allow a quart of water and a small piece of bruised root ginger for each quart of stripped berries
  3. soak them in the water with the ginger for ten days, stirring each day
  4. strain and add a pound of sugar to each quart of liquid
  5. let the sugar dissolve then bottle and cork loosely
  6. when fermentation has ceased, cork down tightly

I don’t know anything about wine-making, but I guess modern equipment would produce a better result than this method. I say this because just the other day I found a couple of bottles of fruit wine I had made using a similar method (I can’t even remember what fruit it was now) and they tasted so disgusting they went straight down the drain!

Thanks very much to Manfred Richter for the image on  Pixabay


  1. debbiedrury

    I’ve got a recipe for Rowan berry jelly, picked the berries last year and they are still in the freezer. I find that most fruit jams better when it has been frozen, more juice seems to come out. The birds usually beat us to the berries so I’ve not actually made it yet. If you want the recipe let me know.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. debbiedrury

        The birds have all ours long before a frost. I just tend to use all frozen fruit for my jams, as not time to jam when everything needs picking, and have found it gives more juice to. I also use a 3:2 ratio of fruit to sugar, and keep in the fridge as it doesn’t store as well, but we prefer it less sweet.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Lois

        That’s a good idea, rather than rushing and panicking to get it all made. A friend who now lives in America had a recipe for fridge jam which sounds the same, less sugar, more flavour but you have to keep it chilled.


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