Saturday, December 17, 2005
When I visited Monticello several years ago, I was fascinated by Jefferson's farming techniques. I was also fascinated how that just about every family during that time period made their own beer and wine. Just think how cool it would be if everyone now made their own wine and beer. Millions of varieties to taste and enjoy. Well if you want a little background about that period, check this out from Colonial Williamsburg.
This is an old time wine recipe. I'm not sure if the powder sugar means regular sugar or powdered sugar since terms were a wee bit different than.
WINE-RAISIN or STEPHONY, may be thus made: Take two pounds of Raisins of the Sun dried, a pound of good Powder-sugar, the Juice of two Lemmons, and 1 whole Peel: Let these boil half an hour in 2 Gallons of Spring-water; and then taking the Liquor off from the Fire, pour it into an earthen Pot, which is to be cover’d close for 3 or 4 days, stirring it twice a day, and adding a little Sugar.
For you beer drinkers, here is a recipe for spruce beer.
Spruce Beer Recipe from Pioneer Thinking.
5 gallons of water
1/8 pound of hops
1/2 cup of dried, bruised ginger root
1 pound of the outer twigs of spruce fir
3 quarts of molasses
1/2 yeast cake dissolved in 1/2 cup of warm water or 1/2 cup
of liquid homemade yeast
In a large kettle combine the water, hops, ginger root and
spruce fir twigs. Boil together until all the hops sink to the
bottom of the kettle. Strain into a large crock and stir in the
molasses. After this has cooled add the yeast. Cover and leave
to set for 48 hours. Then bottle, cap and leave in a warm place
(70-75 degrees F) for 5 days. It will now be ready to drink.
Store upright in a cool place.
Lastly, if you want to know what kind of beer George Washington drank, check out this feature from National Public Radio.