Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Sweet Woodruff and May Wine

Yesterday, I forgot to include a topic I wanted to write about, so I'm posting it today.

I have been growing sweet woodruff in the north flower bed of our yard for a few years now. Sweet woodruff is a woodland herb, meaning it likes shade and moisture (which isn't typical of most herbs). Its cluster of leaves resembles a small umbrella, and its bloom is a miniature spray of creamy white blossoms on a stalk. I love herbs, and was really drawn to sweet woodruff. It held our powder of snow in its own shy way yesterday.

A few years ago, I learned a recipe for May wine using sweet woodruff. Ever since, I have looked forward to celebrating spring with this refreshing drink. Here's the easy-peasy recipe:
  • a large bottle of inexpensive white wine (the sweet woodruff changes the taste of the wine, so why pay for a taste you're going to change?)
  • a few sprigs of sweet woodruff
(yep, that's it!)

Open the bottle, push the sweet woodruff into the wine, close the bottle and let sit for at least 24 hours, chilling. The longer you let it sit, the stronger the taste.

I especially like to serve it to celebrate Beltane (or May Day) on May 1. Supposedly in Renaissance times, maidens would drink this May wine before flitting and flirting with the men on May Day (I don't know if this would be before or after them dancing around the May Pole). Anyway, it certainly adds joy to the day! It's a refreshing, unexpected, and indescribable taste. Try it and toast to the gifts and joys of spring!

Here's to all those joys!


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