Five Finger Wine

Ah want some homemade wine madame Gloria,
Gimme de homemade wine, it nice.
Ah want some homemade wine madame Gloria,
Gimme de homemade wine, it sweet…”
Just like Scrunter’s song, “Homemade Wine” celebrates homemade wine making in Trinidad and Tobago which is an art in itself. And a delicious one at that too! From recipes scribbled on a copybook page or passed on by word of mouth, to possibly closely guarded secret ingredients or techniques, making homemade wines using our local fruits, plants, barks and flowers is a treasured pastime.

Homemade Five Finger Wine

Wine from plants, barks and flowers??? Yep, that’s right. We have taken plants like the famous Chadon Beni (Eryngium Foetidum), Aloes ( Aloe vera), Timarie ( Neptunia Aquatica ), the aphrodisiac bark Bois Bande ( Roupala Montana ) and even Hibiscus flowers to make wine. Personally, I haven’t tasted the chadon beni and timarie but common ones like guava, passion fruit, cashew, cane, rice etc I have had at one time or another while house paranging, at a lime or from friends…. I even heard of some people using dasheen to make wine….in fact I think we Trinis could take almost anything to make wine LOL!!
Anyhow, today I’m going to show you how to make five finger wine. From the looks of it though, you could substitute the five finger with any other fruit and make any other type of wine as well. The steps are simple to follow; just make sure everything is sterilized with hot water. Here’s five finger ( carambola, star fruit) wine. Enjoy the fruitiness!

Five Finger Wine Recipe


Five Finger Wine


25 five finger (star fruit, carambola)
1 1/2 pk yeast (16.5 g)
12 lbs sugar
2 1/4 gal of water (i.e. 2 gallons and 4 cups)
1/2 lb raisins

Wash and slice the five finger

Add the five finger to the water in a bucket.
Note: We used what we call a “pigtail” bucket to set the wine. The water was boiled and cooled beforehand.

Add the yeast and 6 lbs sugar and stir.

Cover the container and leave in a cool dry place for 21 days….

Ok 21 days has passed….Well at least pretend 21 days has passed LOL! ….
This is how the five finger looks now.

Pour out and sweeten the wine with the remaining 6 lbs of sugar.

Strain using a cloth
Note: Make sure everything is sterilized in hot water before use.

Pour out in sterilized bottles add raisins and leave for ten days.
Note: Adding the raisins and leaving for the ten day period helps make the wine clearer.

After the ten day period strain the wine again.
This picture shows some of the impurities (dead yeast) that settled at the bottom of the bottle.

Bottle the wine and store in a cool dry place. Serve chilled or with ice

Ok before I go I would like to leave you all with the song “Homemade Wine” by Scrunter….See how many types of trini homemade wine you could name !


Ah gone!



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9 Responses to Five Finger Wine

  1. Sebastian December 26, 2009 at 4:53 pm #

    what other types of wine do you make in trinidad?

    i have heard of christophene wine too from the “sweet hands”

  2. Felix December 26, 2009 at 9:36 pm #

    As I have said before, we take almost anything to make our wines even down to aloe vera!

  3. Michelle Felix August 23, 2012 at 10:00 pm #

    Hi Felix
    made this wine and i’ve been told by some people it’s the bomb thanks so much for this post i always use your site especially when i want to try something new

  4. Jesse November 13, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Our tree is laden with five finger and I’ve been searching for uses for it. Thanks for posting this. I’m just in time for Christmas! :)

    • Ashoke November 29, 2012 at 7:30 pm #

      Can sorrel be used to make wine? Ever heard about Ganja wine?

      • Felix November 29, 2012 at 9:19 pm #

        Yes and yes lol!! But you know between you and me I can’t post Ganja wine lol!!

  5. dc July 23, 2013 at 11:35 am #

    Felix, you wrote that you can make any other kind of wine using the basic recipe. But I have a question, to substitute the fruit, would you do it by amount or by weight? So would I use a pound or two pounds of aloes, or a pound or two pounds of guava, or a pound or two pounds of pineapple or a pound or two pounds of raw rice? Wonder if I am asking this question correctly?

    • Felix July 23, 2013 at 10:11 pm #

      Hi dc,
      Thanks for the comment. I believe I understand what you are asking. If you wish to substitute the 25 star fruit with any other fruit it would be equal to about 5 pounds. So I guess you can go ahead and use an equivalent amount of 5 pounds for the fruits.

      • dc July 24, 2013 at 1:39 am #

        You know, I have always wanted to try guava wine. I find the perfume of guavas really delicious. There used to be a guava tree in Woodbrook some years ago. Every year it was something to smell the perfume when the fruit was in season. Then they cut it down. Very sad day. Oh well. Thank you for your guidance on this!

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