The currants should be quite ripe. Stem, mash and strain them, adding a half pint of water and less than a pound of sugar to a quart of the mashed fruit. Stir well up together and pour into a clean cask, leaving the bung-hole open, or covered with a piece of lace. It should stand for a month to ferment, when it will be ready for bottling; just before bottling you may add a small quantity of brandy or whisky.
CURRANT WINE No. 2.
To each quart of currant juice, add two quarts of soft water and three pounds of brown sugar. Put into a jug or small keg, leaving the top open until fermentation ceases and it looks clear. Draw off and cork tightly.
HOMEMADE BLACKBERRY WINE RECIPES
Cover your blackberries with cold water; crush the berries well with a wooden masher; let them stand twenty-four hours; then strain, and to one gallon of juice put three pounds of common brown sugar; put into wide-mouthed jars for several days, carefully skimming off the scum that will rise to the top; put in several sheets of brown paper and let them remain in it three days; then skim again and pour through a funnel into your cask. There let it remain undisturbed till March; then strain again and bottle. These directions, if carefully followed out, will insure you excellent wine.
BLACKBERRY WINE NO. 2
Berries should be ripe and plump. Put into a large wood or stone vessel with a tap; pour on sufficient boiling water to cover them; when cool enough to bear your hand, bruise well until all the berries are broken; cover up, let stand until berries begin to rise to top, which will occur in three or four days. Then draw off the clear juice in another vessel, and add one pound of sugar to every ten quarts of the liquor, and stir thoroughly. Let stand six to ten days in first vessel with top; then draw off through a jelly-bag. Steep four ounces of isinglass in a pint of wine for twelve hours; boil it over a slow fire till all dissolved, then place dissolved isinglass in a gallon of blackberry juice, give them a boil together and pour all into the vessel. Let stand a few days to ferment and settle; draw off and keep in a cool place. Other berry wines may be made in the same manner.
Mash the grapes and strain them through a cloth; put the skins in a tub, after squeezing them, with barely enough water to cover them; strain the juice thus obtained into the first portion; put three pounds of sugar to one gallon of the mixture; let it stand in an open tub to ferment, covered with a cloth, for a period of from three to seven days; skim off what rises every morning. Put the juice in a cask and leave it open for twenty-four hours; then bung it up, and put clay over the bung to keep the air out. Let your wine remain in the cask until March, when it should be drawn off and bottled.
FLORIDA ORANGE WINE.
Wipe the oranges with a wet cloth, peel off the yellow rind very thin, squeeze the oranges, and strain the juice through a hair-sieve; measure the juice after it is strained and for each gallon allow three pounds of granulated sugar, the white and shell of one egg and one-third of a gallon of cold water; put the sugar, the white and shell of the egg (crushed small) and the water over the fire and stir them every two minutes until the eggs begin to harden; then boil the syrup until it looks clear under the froth, of egg which will form on the surface; strain the syrup, pour it upon the orange rind and let it stand over night; then next add the orange juice and again let it stand over night; strain it the second day, and put it into a tight cask with a small cake of compressed yeast to about ten gallons of wine, and leave the bung out of the cask until the wine ceases to ferment; the hissing noise continues so long as fermentation is in progress; when fermentation ceases, close the cask by driving in the bung, and let the wine stand about nine months before bottling it; three months after it is bottled, it can be used. A glass of brandy added to each gallon of wine after fermentation ceases is generally considered an improvement.
There are seasons of the year when Florida oranges by the box are very cheap, and this fine wine can be made at a small expense.
METHELIN, OR HONEY WINE.
This is a very ancient and popular drink in the north of Europe. To some new honey, strained, add spring water; put a whole egg into it; boil this liquor till the egg swims above the liquor; strain, pour it in a cask. To every fifteen gallons add two ounces of white Jamaica ginger, bruised, one ounce of cloves and mace, one and one-half ounces of cinnamon, all bruised together and tied up in a muslin bag; accelerate the fermentation with yeast; when worked sufficiently, bung up; in six weeks draw off into bottles.
Another Mead.—Boil the combs, from which the honey has been drained, with sufficient water to make a tolerably sweet liquor; ferment this with yeast and proceed as per previous formula.
Sack Mead is made by adding a handful of hops and sufficient brandy to the comb liquor.
BLACK CURRANT WINE.
Four quarts of whisky, four quarts of black currants, four pounds of brown or white sugar, one tablespoonful of cloves, one tablespoonful of cinnamon.
Crush the currants and let them stand in the whisky with the spices for three weeks; then strain and add the sugar; set away again for three weeks longer; then strain and bottle.
Take two pounds of raisins, seed and chop them, a lemon, a pound of white sugar and about two gallons of boiling water. Pour into a stone jar and stir daily for six or eight days. Strain, bottle and put in a cool place for ten days or so, when the wine will be ready for use.