Wednesday, April 19, 2006


The recipes below are a health hazard. If you make these recipes you can be in danger of harming yourself, your family, relatives, friends and loved ones.


They are here for informatinal purposes ONLY!!!

If you read this weblog you know I'm always on the lookout for interesting old recipes. The following qualify for their use of bitter almonds, which contain Prussic Acid or cyanide. If you soak whole fresh cherries in brandy for six months, you will extract the cyanide. Use one to two drops in a glass of fresh orange juice. Yummm!!!

If you are stupid and drink a glass of brandy and die, don't have your family, relatives, friends come crying here about "dangerous" posts. YOU ARE WARNED!!!

I said 1 or 2 drops. That gives plenty of the bitter almond flavor to the orange juice.

Open air grape culture: a practical treatise on the garden and vineyard culture of the vine, and the manufacture of domestic wine. Designed for the use of amateurs and others in the northern and middle states ... By John Phin ... To which is added a selection of examples of American vineyard practice, and a carefully prepared description of the celebrated Thomery system of grape culture.

(New York:C. M. Saxton,1862)


Three varieties of currants are employed in making wine white, red and black; but the two first are most common. The wines from the white and red sorts differ a little from each other in color, also in flavor. With proper management they are capable of producing a wine analogous to the lighter wines of the grape, according to Dr. MacColloch, "not easy to be distinguished from the Colares of Portugal, which although not in the first class, is certainly superior to most of our domestic wines." A principal defect in currant wine, as commonly made, arises from too small a quantity of the fruit being used, and of course too much sugar and water. On this account, and from the imperfect fermentation, these wines are usually too sweet; and form a natural bad flavor in the husks, which are often kept in the must, a mawkish taste is introduced. By increasing the quantity of the fruit, which is generally used only in the same proportion as in gooseberry wine, and avoiding the use of the husks, the flavor and quality of the wine are materially improved. At present only sweet wines are generally made from currants; but dry wines may also be fabricated from this fruit by the method already pointed out; for these the fruit should be ripe. Brisk wine may also be made, and then a proportion of unripe fruit should be introduced. The use of tartar, likewise, Dr. MacColloch is of opinion, would be advantageous, and would correct a defect not uncommon, that of having an ammoniacal taste. Another improvement has been put in practice with success, not only in making currant wine, but in all those wines produced from fruits of which the flavor is either bad or which have little or no flavor; this is by boiling the fruit juice previously to fermentation. From this treatment many tasteless fruits acquire a flavor, and many bad flavors are converted into agreeable ones. This is particularly remarkable in the case of the black currant, which, though harsh in its natural state, acquires by boiling a powerful and to most persons an agreeable flavor. Wine made from this fruit in a raw state has no particular property, whereas that of the boiled may be, by careful management, brought to resemble some of the best of the sweet Cape wines. The boiling must not be too long continued, as this degree of heat tends to coagulate and precipitate the ferellut, and thus render it ineffective. Some artificial ferment is generally necessary with boiled juice. Great care must be taken in separating the stalks, and if the skins and solid matter are fermented in the vat, they must not, at all events, be introduced into the casks. Many persons put the pure juice into the casks at once, strained, without any previous fermentation in the vat.


Bruise forty pounds of the fruit in a tub of the capacity of fifteen or twenty gallons, and add to it four gallons of water. Stir the whole well, and squeeze till the pulp is thoroughly separated from the skins; leave these materials at rest for about twelve hours, and then strain them through a canvas bag or fine hair sieve, and pass one gallon of fresh water through the mare. Dissolve thirty or twenty-five pounds of white sugar in the juice thus obtained, and make up the whole quantity by an addition of ten gallons and a half of water. The proportion of sugar here given is for a brisk wine; if a sweet wine is required, there must be forty pounds of sugar. White sugar is recommended as much the best. If moist sugar be used, somewhat more will be necessary. The must being now prepared, the fermentation and subsequent treatment must be exactly the same as for gooseberry-wine, and the reader may therefore refer to that recipe. If brandy is to be added, it should. be added toward the end of the fermentation in the cask. For the above quantity some will put in a quart of brandy alone; others mix it with honey. Whether the wine should be racked off from the lees at the end of six months, put into a cask for six months longer before it is bottled, or be suffered to remain the whole time in the lees, must depend upon the state of the wine according to the principles explained above. The bottling should be carefully attended to. ANOTHER RECIPE, White currants, nine gallons; white gooseberries, one gallon; White sugar, twenty-five pounds; white tartar, an ounce; bitter almonds, two ounces; water, nine gallons; brandy, one gallon.


Bruise eight gallons of red, currants with one quart of raspberries. Press. out the juice, and to the residuum, after pressure, add eleven gallons of cold water. Add two pounds of beet-root, sliced as thin as possible, to give color, and let them infuse, with frequent mixture, for twelve hours; then press out the liquor as before, and add it to the juice. Next dissolve twenty pounds of raw sugar in the mixed liquor, and three ounces of red tartar in fine powder. In some hours the fermentation will commence, which is to be managed according to the details for gooseberry wine and the principles we have stated previously. When the fermentation is completely over, add one gallon of brandy; let the wine stand for a week, then rack off, and let stand for two months. It may now be finally racked off, bunged up in a cask, and set by in a cool cellar for as many years as may be required to ameliorate it.


May be made in the same manner, using six gallons of black currants, three gallons of strawberries, twenty-five pounds of raw sugar, four ounces of red tartar, ten gallons of cold water, and three quarts of brandy.


The elderberry is well adapted to the production of wine. Its juice contains a considerable portion of the principle necessary for a vigorous fermentation, and its beautiful color communicates a rich tint to the wine made from it. It is, however, deficient in sweetness, and therefore demands an addition of sugar. There are several methods of making this wine; the following are some of the most approved recipes: Take one gallon of ripe elderberries and one quart of damsons or sloes, for two gallons of wine to be made; boil the fruit in about half the quantity of water till they burst, breaking them frequenltly with a stick. Strain tile liquor and return it to the copper. To produce eighteen gallons of wine, twenty gallons of this liquor are necessary, and for whatever quantity the liquor falls short of this, water must be added to make up. Boil this, together with fifty-six pounds of coarse moist sugar, for half an hour, and it is to be fermented in the usual manner when sufficiently cool, and then is to be tunned or put into the cask. Put now into a muslin bag a pound and a half of ginger, bruised, a pound of allspice, two ounces of cinnamon, and four or six ounces of hops; suspend the bag with the spice in the cask by a string, not long enough to let it touch the bottom; let the liquor work in the cask for a fortnight, and fill up in the usual manner. The wine will be fit to tap in two months, and is not improved by keeping like many other wines. Elderberries alone may be used.


Elderberries, ten gallons; water, ten gallons; white sugar, forty-five pounds; red tartar, eight ounces; fermented with yeast in the usual manner. When in the cask, ginger root, sliced, or allspice, four ounces; bitter almonds, three ounces; suspended in a bag, may be allowed to infuse in the liquor when it is fermenting; they are then to be removed. Brandy may be added or not. When the wine is clear, which will be in about three months, it may be drawn off from the lees and bottled. The spices may be varied according to taste.


To one quart of juice two quarts of water and three pounds of sugar. The berries to be mashed cold, and the juice expressed and strained. The sugar dissolved in the water and strained. The whole then mixed in kegs and placed in a cool cellar. The bung-hole to be left open until fermentation has nearly ceased, then closed tight and left standing until the ensuing April, when it should be carefully drawn and bottled.


Bruise and press out the juice of either fruits; pour on the mare seven gallons of water; infuse for twelve hours and press out -the liquor. Add this liquor to the juice, and mix them with six gallons of cider. Dissolve in the mixture sixteen pounds of raw sugar and three ounces of powdered red tartar, and then set it to ferment in the usual manner. Pare the rinds of two lemons and of two oranges, and together with the juice throw them into the fermenting tub, and take out the rinds when the fermentation is over. Three gallons of brandy may be added. In making raspberry wine, a gallon of white and red currant juice should be added, and an equal quantity of water left out.


Seville oranges are used for this purpose; they are best in March. For eighteen gallons of wine half a chest of oranges are required. Pare the rinds from about a dozen, or two dozen, as more or less of the bitter will be agreeable. Pour over this a quart or two of boiling water, and after letting this stand for twelve hours, strain off the water, which extracted much of the essential of the oranges. Take the peel off entirely from the remainder of the oranges, squeeze the juice through a bag or sieve, and put it into a cask with about forty-five pounds of white sugar or fifty-five of the best moist sugar. Soak the pulp in water for twenty-four hours, and after straining this, add it to the cask. Repeat this several times till the cask is full. Stir the whole well with a stick till the sugar is dissolved, then set it to ferment. The fermentation is slower than with currant wine, but may be heard hissing for several weeks. When this subsides, close the bung-hole, and proceed as in the case with gooseberry wine. Some add brandy. The wine requires to be kept in the cask. a year before it is bottled.


Dissolve eighteen or twenty pounds of sugar in nine and a half gallons of boiling water and add to it ten or twelve ounces of bruised ginger root. Boil the mixture for about a quarter of an hour, and when nearly cold add to it half a pint of yeast, and pour it into a cask to ferment, taking care to fill the cask from time to time with the surplus of the liquor made for that purpose. When the fermentation ceases, rack off the wine, and bottle it when transparent. It is a common practice to boil the outer rind of a few lemons together with the ginger destined for the wine, to impart to the wine the flavor of lemon peel.


Gather the currants when fully ripe; press and measure the juice; add two-thirds water, and to each gallon of that mixture put three pounds of Muscovado sugar (tile cleaner and drier the better; very coarse sugar, first clarified, will do equally well); stir it well until the sugar is quite dissolved, and then tun it up. Do not let the juice stand over night before mixing; or at least not so long as to ferment. Make rather more than to fill the casks, so as to fill them up after drawing off the wine. Lay the bung lightly on the hole, to prevent flies, etc., from creeping in. In three weeks or a month after making, the bunghole may be stopped up, leaving only the vent-hole open, until the wine has done working, which will be about the latter end of October. It may then be racked off into other clean casks; but some persons prefer letting it stand on the lees until spring, as it thus acquires a stronger body and is in a great measure divested of that sweet, luscious taste peculiar to made-wine. It may without damage stand two years on the lees. When it is to be drawn off, bore a hole at least an inch above the tap-hole, a little to the side of it, that it may run clear off the lees.

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