I was reading Ray Bradbury's "Dandelion Wine" the other day, and he used the beverage as a metaphor for the idyllic summer days of youth. And then, cosmic coincidence, I was doing a piece of research just days later, and I came across a cookbook in the DUP archives called How To Cook (Chicago: Belford, Clarke & CO, 1883). It was owned by Mary Clark (mother of Annie Clark Kimball), and on the front blank page someone had written this receipt in an elaborate Spenserian hand:
Boil for half an hour 6 lbs of Sugar 7 quarts of Water and 2 lbs of dandelion flowers or 4 ounces of the roots. When luke warm strain it into a clean cask add 4 ounces of raisins and a teaspoon of fresh beer yeast. Stir daily for 10 days then bung close.
So there's my first post of summer. After you've "bunged it close" I recommend you let it sit in your cellar for six months, and then when winter gets depressing, you can go down to the cellar for a brief reminiscence of those lovely summer days.