‘Traditional country wines and beers; a bit of Christmas fizz
Strawberries, cherries and an angel’s kiss in spring
My summer wine is really made from all these things’
– Nancy Sinatra
Actually, I do not include a recipe for Nancy’s Summer Wine but I do describe in this small book just how you would go about doing it. More than individual recipes – of which there are plenty – this is about simple processes to make cheap and tasty wines. As well as wines I have included ‘long drinks’ such as cider, ginger beer, beer and more as well as a section on fruit vinegar. It is written from my own experience of making wines and long drinks (beers) from fruits, vegetables and flowers from our garden or found locally. Properly made, the wines are clear without sediment and usually very similar to a white wine with only a hint of the taste of the original stock. The organizing idea of the book is to give a clear and concise plan of the principles involved and to take you through step by step of the process. Here is all the information you will need to make your own wines with whatever you have and to make delicious thirst quenching summer drinks. Once the basic theory and practice is known it can then be applied to many different fruits, flowers and vegetables. While there are a number of recipes most of which employ similar processes, there are many, many more and many variants on the ones I have given. People have been making fermented drinks for a long time. This book is a simple ‘How To’ and an introduction. Making such country wines is a well-established tradition. Some centuries ago housewives would, as a matter of course, put up wines and beers.
One reason for homemade wines and beers is to save expense. To make savings the ingredients need to be inexpensive. For this reason most of the wines I suggest are made from or use cheap and easily available materials. Often the household wine we make is made from fruit or vegetables that we have in excess or from parts otherwise not used such as the flesh of coffee, the pods of broad beans. The main expense is getting set up with the equipment; however this can be much reduced by a little judicious substitution. There are also a number of products that can be added to wine to improve it. I discuss these but with many I add a cheap alternative or the comment: isn’t really necessary. Hobbyists, and you, if you get the bug, might spend more on ingredients.
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