Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Celtic Ginger Wine

This is an old tyme homemade wine that tastes more like Mead, an ancient honey wine, or hard liquor than wine. Country people or the ancients often served it alone or in tea as a warming drink when someone had a cold or when the weather was bad and people were chilled to the bone from working outside.


1/2 cup sugar caramelized to light or dark brown (recipe follows)

3 lbs sugar
3 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp cream of tartar
1/4 tsp dry yeast ( or wine yeast if you have it)
Juice of 4 lemons

Caramelize the 1/2 cup sugar and set aside. Pour a gallon of boiling water into a 2 gallon crock pot. Add the 3 lbs of sugar, ginger, cream of tartar, yeast, lemon juice and the caramelized sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves. Cover with a clean dish towel and let the wine ferment for about 2 weeks in a warm spot, until all bubbling (fermentation) has ceased and desisted. Then you skim the top, which is called racking off, pouring off the "dregs" into freshly scrubbed jugs and bottles. (I generally used mason jars and place them in a boiling water bath) You may use bottles instead, and just pour the wine in and cork em! Store in a cool, dry place.
Ginger wine will last for years! The above recipe makes about 1 gallon.

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