In the bible, one of Jesus's earliest miracles was turning jugs of water into wine. Let's assume that I need some wine - and it doesn't have to be good wine - but I need some wine for my guest. I have an unlimited budget and a lot of motivation. How could I turn water into wine in less than an hour using modern technology?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I recommend smashing lots of grapes and dumping them in water. I also recommend not letting it ferment. $\endgroup$ Jan 19, 2016 at 1:12
  • $\begingroup$ This might be idea generation, because it's about specific actions of a specific individual. $\endgroup$
    – HDE 226868
    Jan 19, 2016 at 1:14
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I fear the number of loophole approaches to this tight schedule may require you to specify what will qualify as "wine" for your guests, and what else we are allowed to use besides the water. Water+grapes+everclear+shakeitup=something a wino might think was wine (if they were already drunk) $\endgroup$
    – Cort Ammon
    Jan 19, 2016 at 1:17
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ Pour the water onto the head of a passerby. Tell him that in apology, you will give him 1000 dollars if he brings back a jug of wine in the next hour. When he returns, give him the money and take the wine. $\endgroup$
    – Oldcat
    Jan 21, 2016 at 23:37
  • $\begingroup$ Phenolphthalein. You just need a bit o it, put it on the water in the jug. You can put a bit of any high alkaline substane in a cup and when you fill the cup it got a purple color liquid from a colorless jug of water (you may need to use a combination of pH indicator to achieve a real wine color) $\endgroup$
    – jean
    Mar 24, 2016 at 18:29

5 Answers 5


This website describes how to make wine in a pinch( I'm opening a wine bar, so full disclosure: I don't recommend this wine to anyone).


  1. Buy juice
  2. Add sugar
  3. Add yeast
  4. Shake shake shake!
  5. Plug with airlock
  6. Wait

I am working on the assumption that acquiring the materials above is possible in your story for your characters. During the (modern-day) wedding in Palestine, you duck out to the fridge and put this together with stuff laying around?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Under wait the website mentions 2 weeks. I don't think it is what OP looks for. $\endgroup$
    – user58697
    Jan 19, 2016 at 1:57
  • 8
    $\begingroup$ You forgot to accelerate everything else to a significant fraction of the speed of light and leave the wine behind to brew ready for when you get back. $\endgroup$
    – Separatrix
    Jan 19, 2016 at 9:15
  • $\begingroup$ i need to tried it, i wonder how does it taste $\endgroup$
    – user902383
    Jan 19, 2016 at 10:34
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Neat! 21st century Jesus is all like: "I shall now perform the miracle of turning water into wine! Umm, close your eyes for a couple of minutes." $\endgroup$ Jan 21, 2016 at 8:59

So: Dehydrated alcohol is definitely a thing. Various flavourings are available in powdered form, and with a bit of patience and some hard work you'll probably be able to make a powdered wine that doesn't taste absolutely awful (unlike this powdered red wine for backpackers).

This has the advantage of being light, easy to apply to the water (ooh, magic), and utterly unrecognisable as 'alcohol' to anyone who doesn't already know the trick.

While it isn't strictly wine in a way that a wine connoisseur would recognise it, not much that you can make in an hour would be, and hopefully you'll be making it alcoholic enough that no-one would care.

Edit: A quick google for 'powdered wine' throws up a lot of results. Apparently some are quite good.

Edit 2: And powdered beer.

Gets out wallet

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Before anyone comes in with comments about alcohol already being dehydrated, I didn't name it. $\endgroup$
    – Joe Bloggs
    Jan 19, 2016 at 11:20

Take your jug of water into a back room and drink/spill half of it. Then add some low-sugar grape-concentrate and vodka. Shake well and return to the party.


Buy a simple Water To Wine magic trick kit that visibly makes a clear liquid become deep red.


Then use sleight of hand to exchange that for a bottle/glass of real wine before you serve.

  • $\begingroup$ Important note from vendor: "You should NOT drink these chemicals." $\endgroup$
    – Trang Oul
    Jan 21, 2016 at 10:06
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ "...then use sleight of hand to exchange that for a bottle/glass of real wine before you serve." $\endgroup$
    – MichaelK
    Jan 25, 2016 at 10:12

Your problem falls into two categories:

A: You want to appear to change water into wine. This is a standard trick using a special jug that internally has two chambers. Which one drains when pouring depends on how it's held, small airholes covered etc.

You can also do some kind of sleight of hand, exchanging identical looking containers.

B: You need to actually make a beverage. This is a lot tougher. Alcohol plus flavourings. Not clear how to make a decent one. (By contrast, reasonable liquors using vodka or everclear combined with artificial flavours and colours can produce not terrible results.)

So to get a decent wine flavour, I'd start by doing a vacuum distillation of wine. Separate out the water, alcohol and everything else. I think this is in the range of current tech, but tax laws make no incentive for doing it.

Google synthetic flavor chemistry. Try vacuum distilation.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .