The Spanish city of Malaga is known for the very fine raisins they produce from Muscatel grapes. These Muscatel grape is very sweet and has anintense flavor; It originated in Egypt and was probably brought to Malaga by the Phoenicians where it was later improved by the Greeks and Romans. Using both the Muscatel grape and another, Pedro Ximenez, the area also makes a sweet fortified dessert wine. Perhaps this sweet wine is what my paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright, had in mind when she included a recipe for Mountain Wine made from Muscatel raisins in her book, Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wine.
Here are the directions for Mountain Wine in the words of my grandmother:
Pick out the big stalks of your Malaga raisins; then chop them very small, five pounds to every gallon of cold spring water. Let them steep a fortnight or more, squeeze out the liquor, and barrel it in a vessel fit for it. First fume the vessel with brimstone; don’t stop it up till the hissing is over.
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