In her book, Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines (published 1909), my paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright included 8 recipes using gooseberries. Although she did not specify the kind of gooseberry, she probably meant the one native to North America, Ribes hirtellum, known by a variety of names including American gooseberry, wild gooseberry, swamp gooseberry, hairy-stemmed gooseberry, and wedge-leaf gooseberry. It is a deciduous shrub and a member of the current family, Grossulariaceae. Growing 2-5′ tall, the plant has hairy stems with occasional prickles and palmately lobed leaves that may be softly hairy. Clusters of 1-4 small, bell-shaped, greenish-white to pink flower appear in the spring and are followed by green berries that turn purple. Photo Credit Nadiatalent Wikipedia
Here is a third recipe for gooseberry wine in the words of my grandmother:
Take to every four pounds of gooseberries one and one-quarter pounds of sugar, and one quart of fair water. Bruise the berries, and steep them twenty-four hours in the water, stirring them often; then press the liquor from them, and put your sugar to the liquor. Then put in a vessel fit for it. and when it is done working stop it up, and let it stand a month; then rack it off into another vessel and let it stand five or six weeks longer. Then bottle it out, putting a small lump of sugar into every bottle; cork your bottles well, and three months’ end it will be fit to drink.
(Grandmother goes on to say the currant and raspberry wine can be made in a similar manner but that cherry wine requires different directions)
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