FoodHorticultural therapy

May wine

It is time before the sweet woodruff (Galium odoratum) flowers to harvest it to make May wine. I was intoduced to this delightful beverage by the writings of Adelma Simmons, who used to run the legendary Caprilands Herb Farm in Coventry, CT. It is something that Juana and I enjoy every Spring.

The recipe is simple: dried sweet woodruff, strawberries and a good white wine. The woodruff has been a plentiful ground cover in our yard for decades so we always have a large supply. As for the wine, I like to use a nice Riesling.

To start, the woodruff is baked at 200 degrees for 10 minutes or so to bring out the coumarin. The scent is powerful and intoxicating. Then I cut up a couple of strawberries and remove a bit of wine from the bottle to make room for them and the dried woodruff.

If you like things sweet a bit of sugar can be added, but we usually forgo that step. And then our concoction sits for about a week before it is ready to drink. The Riesling is transformed into a different beverage with an entirely different flavor. It is delicious and a bit of an aphrodisiac so be careful with whom you share it with. alt

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