BVC - Gruits and Herbal wines

nweders@mail.utexas.edu nweders at mail.utexas.edu
Thu Apr 22 10:06:45 PDT 1999


At 07:46 AM 4/22/99 -0500, you wrote:
>Hat's off to Clare  :)
	I'm honored, sir.....
 

Here's what a quaint little book on herbs has to say about herb wines.

Basic recipe:
2 oz of the herb
3 lb of sugar
juice of one or two lemons
1 gal of water.

The author who is an interesting fellow says that herb wines should be
taken medicinally 2 -3 times a day 2-3 oz at at a time... (grin)

Here is what I found about gruit in A Second Handbook of Anglo-Saxon Food
and Drink by Anne Hagen.

page 212.  "
Before hopping was established in Germany, a mixture of herbs called druit,
which included bog myrtle ( also known as sweet gale), yarrow and rosemary
was employed.  Danish beer was perhaps spiced with bog myrtle as well as
hops.  Boiled with the wort tthese herbs would flavour and perhaps helps to
preserve the beer.  It is likely thatthese herbs were also used in
Anglos-Saaxon England.  Bog Myrtle is referred to in a leechdom (clare -
herb book) for a light drink for lung disease gagellan is to be boiled on
wryte (presumably the wort of beer)  and then fermented with new yeast.
Other herbs: helenium, wormwood, betony, march, and ontre (radish) were
then to be added.  Recipes for gale beer are still extant.  Another
leechdom calls for carline thistle, meadow sweet and agrimony to be boiled
in ale and then fermented with yeast.  Wilson finds evidence for the iuse
of early brewing of yarrow and rosemary, and in additionm heather alecost,
and wormwood.  Alehoof (Glechoma hederacea) also known as ground ivy was
used in brewing. Ash keys were also used as a preservative; it was claimed
that by their use small beer could be preserved for two months.  Sap from
sycamore trees was used to make beer stronger.  .....

Dandelion, sage, nettle and other plants may have been used to make beers
as they have up to the present.  It was perhaps a drink of this kind,
described as "beer with herbs' that a tenth century Irish hermit enjoyed."

I'll see what else I can find out...

Clare
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