The name British Champagne is a paradox, of course, because real champagne only comes from a certain area of France and is made to to exacting standards. Apparently this did not phase my paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright, who included a recipe for British Champagne in her book, Old Time recipes for Home Made Wines. True, you can buy British Champagne on line but you can be sure that it nothing like the beverage of Grandmother Wright. The very first sentence of the recipe provides the first clue that Grandmother’s idea of champagne is off target.
In the words of my grandmother here is the recipe for British Champagne:
To every five pounds of rhubarb, when sliced and bruisded, put one gallon of cold spring water. Let it stand three days, stirring two or three times every day; then press and strain it through a sieve, and to every gallon of liquor, put three and one-helf pounds of loaf sugar. Stir it well, and when melted, barrel it. When it has done working, bung it up close, first suspending a muslin bag with isinglass from the bung into the barrel. To eight gallons of liquor, put two ounces of isinglass. In six months bottle it and wire the bottles; let them stand up for the first month, then lay four or five down lengthways for a week, and if none burst, all may be laid down. let them stand up for the first month, then lay four or five down lengthways for a week, and if none burst, all may be laid down. Should a large quantity be made, it must remain longer in cask. It may be colored pink by putting in a quart of raspberry juice. It will keep for many years.
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