A simple and quick method of preparing herb wines of many varieties is by the use of a standard basic recipe, such as Barley Wine, with the addition of the necessary herbs or the herb flavour extracted into the water for making the wine by steeping the dried herbs or boiling the fresh herbs.
Particular attention should be paid to obtaining the maximum extraction of the flavours and qualities of the herbs. Two ounces of dried herb usually suffice (a standard proprietary pack costing a few shillings will meet your requirements) and certain herbs with strong aromatic qualities may be suspended in a linen bag for a few days in the liquor made from a standard basic recipe. Check from time to time until the strength of flavour is to your liking. An ordinary barley wine is an excellent base; so is a tea wine.
The herbs powdered or bruised, can be either:
(a) Boiled or soaked in the gallon of water and strained before adding to the main recipe.
(b) Be added powdered or bruised to the must; or
(c) Suspended in a linen bag in the fermenting standard basic must.
Another new development is the introduction of flavourings, which can be used to produce from any finished wine several quite different aperitifs, and French or Italian Vermouth. Flavourings are also obtainable to produce liqueurs at home—Cherry Brandy, Curacao, Green and Yellow Convent, Kirsch, Eau-de-Vie, Juniper Gin, etc., etc. With liqueurs, of course, some fortification with brandy or vodka is to be recommended, to obtain the strength required (liqueurs are really sweetened spirits). Some economy can be effected by using a proportion of strong wine in place of a third of the amount of spirit recommended by the suppliers.
"Ferments" have a wide range of most effective flavourings which will enable you to make some most interesting experiments in this line. Grey Owl Laboratories also supply some of the more popular ones, including a most interesting "sherry" flavour.
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