By SJ Otto
Several years ago I entered a bottle of oak leaf mead to a brew fair contest and it won best of show as well as best mead. I rarely win such honors so I was amazed to hear that I won.
As it turns out those tree leaves in folk's yard, if they have oak trees, make a really great wine. I got the recipe out of a book on Druidry, The 21 Lessons of Merlyn by Douglas Monroe.
It turns out that
book is not all that accurate. But no matter where he got the oak wine recipe,
it is worth passing on. Monroe
To begin with fill a pail with oak leaves, fresh off of a tree is preferred. Ad one handful of rose buds and one handful of chamomile.
Next put 10 cups of water in a large crock pot. Bring to a boil and then pour the boiling water on the leaves. Cover them, with a cloth, and let them steep for 12 hours.
After the 12 hours, strain the liquid over cheese cloth or something like it. Next get the crock pot back out and put in 10 more cups of water. Ad 6 cups of honey. Then bring to a boil. Now poor the leaf liquid in the crock pot. Let the mixture cool and when it is room temperature, ad some yeast. To get the most alcohol out of the mixture ad some Champagne yeast. It has a high tolerance to alcohol and will allow the alcohol level to get real high. Put a lid over the crock pot so the alcohol does not escape. A fermentation lock may be used after the mixture is poured into a gallon jug if the brewer prefers that method. Otherwise just let the mixture ferment until it has enough alcohol to be a wine. That usually takes two to three weeks.
Then use a siphon hose to bottle the mixture into wine bottles. The wine can be aged if the brewer wants to make sure it is the best it can be- maybe a year. Or if it taste OK just poor a class and drink! It has a rich dark taste.
 Douglas Monroe, The 21 Lessons of Merlyn, (Llewellyn Publications, St. Paul, Minnesota), 1993, p. 339.