My paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright included in her book Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines, a recipe for something she called “malt wine, or English sherry”. The name “malt wine” suggests an alcoholic beverage made from germinated cereal grain that has been dried with hot air, while sherry suggests suggests a fortified wine from the Spanish province of Andalucia. Grandmother’s recipe conjures up visions of neither.
Here is the recipe in the words of my grandmother:
Take twelve pounds of good moist sugar, two gallons of water. Boil them together two hours, skimming carefully. When the scum is all removed, and the liquor looks clear, add one-half ounce of hops, which should boil one-quarter hour or twenty minutes. When the liquor is quite cold, add to it five quarts of strong beer in the height of working; cover up and let it work forty-eight hours; then skim and tun. If none remains for filling up, use new beer for that purpose. This method may be adopted with all boiled wines, and will be found to improve their strength and promote their keeping. In a fortnight or three weeks, when the head begins to sink, add two and one-half pounds raisins (free from stalks), one ounce of sugar candy, one ounce of bitter almonds, and one-half cup of the best brandy; brown paper, as in formr articles. It may be bottled in one year; but if left three years in the wood, and then bottled, it will be found equal in strength and flavor to foreign wine.
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Photo Credit: Peter Schill Wikipedia