Making Hibiscus Wine: A One-Gallon Easy Recipe from Start to Finish

Hibiscus wine is a fermented alcoholic drink made from hibiscus and sucrose (table sugar). In this article, we’ll walk you through the process of brewing Jack Keller’s simple and easy hibiscus wine recipe, from start to finish, including a tasting and some notes for the next time.


The ingredients for this hibiscus wine are:

  • 2 ounces of dried hibiscus flowers
  • 2 pounds of granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of tartaric acid
  • 1 teaspoon of citric acid
  • Water to one gallon
  • Yeast nutrient
  • Red Star Cote des Blancs yeast


Our brew day gets started by bringing some water up to a boil. While we’re waiting for that to come up to a boil, we’re going to put the hibiscus flowers into a straining bag. This will keep all the petals together and make it a lot easier to remove them when that time comes.

Once the water comes up to a boil, we will cut that heat and bring it off the burner. Then we’ll take a little bit of that warm water out and use it to dissolve our sugar.

This just helps to make sure that you get everything dissolved all at once and you don’t have big sugar crystals settling out at the bottom of your wine. That way, it’ll ferment at a more measured pace.

Next, our acids and our yeast nutrient will go into that warm mixture. Then we’re going to pour that on top of the hibiscus flowers. We’ll add the rest of that hot water, cover it, and let it come down to room temperature.

A few hours later, once it’s come down to temp, we will take the lid off and go ahead and pitch our yeast. Jack’s recommended yeast is Cote des Blancs, so that’s what we’re using here.

Cote des Blancs yeast is an interesting choice here because usually you’ll see it for white wines or country fruit wines that have fruits that trend toward the lighter side of fruits, not big bold red fruits. But Cote des Blancs is good for both red and white wines because it enhances fruity flavors.

Every day, we’ll open the bucket and squeeze the bag just to make sure we’re getting nice flow throughout that bag of petals. Repeat this every single day until you get down to 1.020 on your hydrometer.

Once you hit 1.020, it is time to take that bag out, squeeze all the contents of the bag out, and then let it finish fermenting.

After about three weeks, rack it off to secondary. After about a month of cold crashing, it should be clear and ready to bottle.


The hibiscus wine has a deep red color, similar to when you use a lot of blueberries in a fermentation. On the nose, it smells like very dense, tannic hibiscus tea. You pick up some of the acid that you get from hibiscus, and there is a fruit character in there too.

This wine went completely dry, but because of the estery character of the Cote des Blancs yeast, there is a little bit of a perceptible kind of sweetness nuance in there that keeps it from feeling too astringent on the palate. It’s fruity, it’s winey, it’s got that almost slight sweetness, and it’s very smooth.

Final Thoughts

If I was going to redo this process, there’s not a lot I would change, other than scaling it up by about thirty percent.

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