Ginger Wine, round 1

historical Ginger Wine recipe
historical Ginger Wine

Thoughts:

The color is nearly clear, crystaline by homebrewed fruit wine standards, with just the slightest tint of yellow-green. It has a sort of sharp acidity on the first taste, followed by a bit of ginger flavor. I couldn’t quite pin the oddly familiar set of flavors, but then it hit me.

It tastes like flat ginger-ale.  

If I just up the ginger content (which was low to start with, as per the original recipe), and carbonate it, I think it would actually be quite delicious. I’m planning to stockpile some for summer, once I tweak the recipe a bit more. I’m not sure the egg white clarification process needs to stay, although it was fascinating to try. Many historical brewing recipes call for it, and I had been curious to try it for some time. The egg white rises to the top as it cooks, and can be skimmed off, along with any impurities it captures along the way.

Proposed Location?

I would guess across the Narrow Sea, somewhere in Essos. They would have ready access to the citrus and spice needed for brewing it, and the hot weather in which to enjoy the finished product.

Ginger Wine Recipe

Makes 1 Gallon       Initial Fermentation: ~2.5 weeks       Aging: 1 month or more

ABV: 7.7%

To seven gallons of water, put nine pounds lump sugar, half a pound of sliced ginger, the whites of 5 eggs. Beat to a frothe. Put them together over the fire and stir it from the bottome with a stick tille it boils then skim it till it’s done rising and let it boile half an hour and take it off and set it in a dry place. Put in a tubb when near cold, throw in the rines of seven good lemons. Also squeese in the juice. Spread a toast withe yeast not bitter and set it at work 24 hours. Then pour it off clear into your Vessels and put in some freshe bits of ginger or lemmon juice if not to your taste. The best way is to boil the juice and rinds withe the liquor at first. Ginger wine may be drank in seven or eight days after its made, but the longer it stands no doubt the better it will be. The colour is very fine. -Lucayos Cookbook, 1690

Ingredients:

  • 1 gallon water (12 cups)
  • 3 cups sugar
  • 2 oz. ginger
  • [1 egg white]
  • rind of 1 lemon
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • yeast (yellow)

Combine all ingredients except the yeast, and beat to a froth. Pour into a large saucepan, and bring to a boil. Skim off anything that rises to the surface. Continue boiling and skimming for 30 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Pour into a 1 gallon glass jug. Add the lemon juice. Taste, and add more lemon or ginger. Pitch the yeast, and let work until it’s done.

Allow to age for at least a week, according to the original instructions, although it’s better the longer you leave it. I started to really like this batch around 2 months, although I’m sure the next version of this recipe will be even tastier!

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3 Comments Add yours

  1. Jae says:

    What type of yeast is yellow yeast? Which variety did you use?

    1. Chelsea says:

      It was champagne yeast. I tend to think of them as the color of the packets, and sometimes forget to change the recipe. 😉

      1. Jae says:

        Lol ok, I’d like to try this recipe sans the egg whites, but you threw me with the color. Thanks for the reply.

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