4.8 Beverages.

Botanical name: 

4.8.1 Wine

From: Baker.325.magnus.acs.ohio-state.edu (Gwen Baker) (who got it from Terry Pelley on rec.winemaking)

Rose petal wine

One day before you prepare the must you should make a yeast starter:
For one gallon of wine:
4 oz. Water
1 tsp. sugar
¼ tsp. nutrient
Pinch of citric acid
¼ tsp. yeast
For five gallons of wine:
2 cups water
2 tbs. sugar
½ tsp. nutrient
¼ tsp. citric acid
1 package of yeast

Mix all the ingredients in an appropriate size bottle and shake to combine. Loosely cover the bottle, do not seal it tight; a cloth held in place with a rubber band will work fine. After sitting for a day this mixture should be fermenting and can be added to the must.

The must:
6 cups rose petals (fresh) whites removed
¼ lb. chopped white raisins
5 ¾ cups sugar
2 tsp. yeast nutrient
2 tsp. acid blend
1 Campden Tablet (crushed)
Yeast - All purpose or Rhinewine

Boil one gallon of water and combine with rose petals, raisins, and sugar in your primary fermenter. Allow the mixture to cool to around 75 degrees and add yeast nutrient, acid blend and campden tablet.

4.8.2 Ginger ale / ginger beer

From: Jeff Benjamin <benji.fc.hp.com>
I normally post this to homebrewing newsgroups or mailing lists, so for those who are fermentationally challenged, here are a few notes on the recipe below:

  • "Sanitized fermentation vessel" simply means a glass container, like a gallon juice jug, that has been sanitized with a dilute bleach solution. Fill the container with a mixture of two tablespoons of bleach per gallon of water. Let sit for 15 minutes, then drain. Rinsing with clean water is optional, although if you do not rinse, let air dry completely before using.
  • An airlock, in this case, is used to allow CO2 produced during fermentation to escape while not letting air (and airborne bacteria) in. There are a couple of different varieties; you may remember the S-shaped ones from high school biology. You can pick up one of these at your local home-brew supply shop. If there isn't such a shop in your area, simply cover the top of the jug with some plastic wrap and tie *loosely* with string, so that it's not completely sealed.
  • On yeast: again, you can get packages of dry ale yeast from your home-brew supply shop. The fancy varieties of liquid yeast are overkill; a 99-cent package of dry yeast (Red Star, Edme, M&F, etc.) will do just fine. Bread yeast would probably work fine, although I've never tried it.
  • On bottling: sanitize the bottles before filling, just like the fermentation vessel. If you use any auxiliary implements, like a funnel, it wouldn't hurt to sanitize them too. You can re-use the white plastic screw caps on the 2l PET bottles; sanitize them as well.

Geez, now I've probably made the whole operation sound like nuclear physics. Well, it ain't. It is a little more like canning or pickling, in that there are some safety concerns, although the sanitizing is more to prevent off odors and flavors than to prevent deadly diseases. Honestly, it's really pretty easy to do. As the homebrewers all say, "Relax, don't worry." Have a ginger ale.

Ginger Ale

1 gallon water
1 pound white sugar (either granulated or corn will do)
½ oz cream of tartar
1 oz grated ginger
1 lemon
your favorite ale yeast

Boil water, stir in sugar, cream of tartar, ginger, and zest of lemon (yellow part of peel). Cool to pitching temperature (<75F), add juice of lemon. Transfer the whole mess to a sanitized fermentation vessel, pitch yeast, and cap with an airlock.

Bottle after 48 hours, using strong bottles (champagne or 2l soda pop bottles work well). Let condition at room temperature for 2-3 days, then refrigerate.

Helpful Hints:

  • You can use more ginger (up to 3-4 oz per gallon) to get spicier ginger ale.
  • The jury is still out on whether it is necessary to peel the ginger. I peel it simply because it's easier to grate that way.
  • Don't second guess the fermentation time, and don't be worried if the air lock is still perking after 48 hrs. If you let it go past 48 hrs, you will probably end up with somewhat flat, not-very-sweet soda.
  • Please don't use regular beer bottles. Champagne bottles are much stronger. 2l PET bottles work very well because you can squeeze them to see how carbonated they are, and relieve pressure if you're worried.
  • Make sure you store the ginger ale in the fridge. This will help minimize any unwanted further fermentation.
  • Make in small quantities and drink soon. The refrigerating will *minimize* fermentation, not stop it, so eventually you will run the risk of gushers or grenades.

Ginger Beer
From Sam Waring <waring.infomail.com>:

6 oz Ginger, fresh; bruised
3 qt Water
5 lb. Loaf sugar
¼ lb. Honey
½ c Lemon juice
17 qt Water
2 Drachms essence of lemon (about 2 ts)
1 Egg
Put ginger and 3 quarts water into a very large kettle and boil for 30 minutes. Add sugar, honey, lemon juice and 17 quarts more water.
Strain through a cloth and when it is cold, add essence of lemon and egg. Let stand for 3-4 days before bottling. Yield: 1 serving.

From Sam Waring <waring.infomail.com>:

Homemade ginger beer

1 oz Ginger, fresh; peeled & -crushed
⅓ c Lime juice
Lime peel; of 3 small
½ c Sugar
3 ¾ c Water, boiling
¼ tsp. Yeast
¼ c Water, lukewarm

Combine the crushed ginger, lime peel, juice and sugar in a jar or at least one quart capacity. Pour in the boiling water. Cover loosely and let cool to room temp. Dissolve the yeast in the lukewarm water and add. Seal the jar as tightly as possible and let stand at room temp overnight. Chill, strain and serve. Yield: 1 quart.

From: yorksman.teleport.com (David S Inman)

Ginger Beer on Dried Ground Ginger

This recipe doesn't use ginger root - but it is good! First you need a starter . . .

Either Half fill a jam jar with tepid water, stir in one teaspoonful sugar and one teaspoonful ground ginger, plus one teaspoonful dried yeast; or, as above without yeast. Add one teaspoonful sugar every day and leave uncovered in jar until fermentation starts by natural yeast spores in the air. Then add one level teaspoonful ginger and one of sugar to starter and stir well each day for six days. On the seventh day strain and halve the starter (keep one half for the next batch).

To strained liquid add twelve English cups (120 fluid ounces) of cold water, three cups sugar melted in four cups boiling water and juice of two lemons. Bottle and cork (do not use screw tops, bottles might explode) and keep for four days. Result is mildly alcoholic!

4.8.3 Herbal teas

Best of the herbal forums: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/herbal-tea.html
Best of the herbal forums: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/herbal-tea-1.html
Best of the herbal forums: http://www.henriettes-herb.com/archives/best/1996/sun-tea.html

For 'tea' -tea (Camellia sinensis) check out the FAQ of rec.food.drink.tea. For 'herbal' teas look here.

(On uses of cinnamon basil:)
I use cinnamon basil primarily in tea. (Not many people think of basil as a tea herb.) Cinnamon basil mixes well with mint, catnip, scullcap, etc. in bedtime teas. I use licorice basil in combination with the above herbs, and often throw in some anise hyssop. Lemon basil gets mixed into any number of lemony mixes, that also incorporate lemon balm, lemon verbena, lemon grass, and lemon catnip.
If you enjoy herb teas (actually, technically they're infusions, because they don't contain any real tea), try using some basil.

(after being prompted for more info:)
I do have some advice on developing your own recipes. Take an herb that seems like it would make good tea, make some tea and try it. If you like it, keep using it. After you have tried a few herbs that you enjoy, try mixing them. If there's an herb with certain properties that you want to use (such as catnip or scullcap for a sedative effect at bedtime), but you dont like the taste, mix it with an herb you like that will mask the flavor. The important thing is to keep records of what you put into the blends that you like, so you can reproduce them when you run out.

I make most of my herb teas from dried herbs, although I do make some sun teas using fresh herbs combined with pekoe tea bags. To start, use what you have available. Experiment some, too. (I wouldn't have thought to used flavored basil for tea until my wife tried it and we liked it.) Some of the herbs we use or have experimented with in tea are various mints, flavored basils (lemon, cinnamon, licorice), anise hyssop, lemon verbena, calamint, catmint, catnip, lemon catnip, lemon grass, chamomile, sage, pineapple sage, lemon balm, clary sage, scullcap, sweet marjoram, and thyme. There are *LOTS* of others. Have fun!

From dgholston.aol.com (DGholston):
The fresh or dried leaves of pineapple sage can be used as a mild-flavored substitute for common sage in cooking or to make herbal tea.

From Paul Kentaro Matsumoto <kentaro.gladstone.uoregon.edu>:

> I am looking for recipes that use lavender flowers to make herbal teas.

A real simple and delicious recipe: a tablespoon of dried lavender, a couple sprigs of sage (fresh or dried), a couple sprigs of pineapple mint or apple mint, and just a little rosemary. Hope you like this one!

From curtis nehring bliss (nobody.nowhere)

If you want a wonderful tea with a citrussy kick that tastes great hot or cold try this:

Forgotten Harvest Herbal Tea

1 part hibiscus flowers
2 parts lemon grass
3 parts raspberry leaf

Let steep for twenty minutes. It's a very refreshing blend when served ice cold to help you get through these summer days

From: sjahner.sojourn.com (Barbara Jahner)

  • Equal parts of sage, thyme, marjoram, oregano and chamomile is nice and it will help you fall asleep too.
  • Also: 5 oz dried red rosebuds, 2 oz dried balm, 1oz dried rosemary.
  • Also mix in equal parts: balm leaves, rosemary, lavender, spearmint, and cloves. Personally I like a little less cloves but it's up to you.