Dragon fruit, also known as pitaya or strawberry pear, is a tropical fruit that is known for its vibrant pink color and sweet flavor. This delicious fruit can also be used to make a delicious and unique wine. Here’s a detailed recipe and guide on how to make dragon fruit wine at home.
- 3 lb dragon fruit (about 6-8 fruits)
- 6 lb granulated sugar
- 1 packet of champagne yeast
- Campden tablets (optional)
- One-gallon glass carboy
- Racking cane
- Hydrometer (optional)
- Siphon tubing
- Sterilizing solution
- Bottles and corks
- Start by preparing the dragon fruit. Cut the fruit in half and scoop out the flesh with a spoon. Discard the skin and seeds. Mash the flesh with a fork or potato masher to release the juice.
- In a large fermenting container, mix the mashed dragon fruit and sugar together. Stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add in the packet of champagne yeast and enough water to bring the volume to 1 gallon. Stir well until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add in one crushed Campden tablet (if desired) to the mixture, which acts as a sterilizer, to prevent any wild yeast or bacteria from contaminating your wine. Let the mixture sit for 24 hours to neutralize any wild yeast or bacteria.
- Cover the container with a clean cloth or a tight-fitting lid, and let it ferment for 5-7 days at room temperature (around 70-75F). You will notice bubbling, which is a sign of fermentation.
- After the primary fermentation is completed (5-7 days), use a hydrometer to measure the specific gravity (SG). The SG should be less than 1.000. If the SG is above 1.000, let it ferment for a couple more days.
- Once fermentation is completed, transfer the liquid to a one-gallon glass carboy with an airlock. Let it ferment for 3-6 months or until the wine reaches the desired level of dryness. During this time, you will notice sediment forming at the bottom of the carboy, this is called the lees.
- Racking the wine is the process of moving the clear liquid off the lees, to remove any sediment and prevent it from adding off-flavors. Use a racking cane and siphon tubing to transfer the liquid from the carboy to another container, leaving behind the lees. Repeat the process every 3-4 weeks.
- Once fermentation is complete, and the wine is cleared, transfer it to a separate clean container, and allow it to settle for several days to remove any sediment.
- Once settled, sterilize the bottles, corks, and equipment with a sterilizing solution. Use a siphon tubing to transfer the wine into the bottles, leaving about 1 inch of airspace at the top. Cork the bottles, and store them in a cool, dark place. The wine will continue to improve in taste over time, aging it for a year before drinking will bring the best flavor.
Note: The fermenting process is a little bit unpredictable and depends on the ambient temperature and humidity, the freshness of the fruit, the quality of the yeast used, etc. It is essential to check the progress of fermentation regularly and take action if needed. Keeping sanitation in check is a key element in the whole process.
Dragon fruit wine has a unique and delicate taste with a fruit punch.