A wine which soothes the throat and provides for warmth in the cold winter night – Homemade Ginger Wine..!!
Wines have become my latest passion. I enjoy the tedious process of chopping and stirring and waiting for that beautiful end product. I will not say that all my attempts have been very successful. The first time I made grape wine, it turned to vinegar. But I was not too daunted. I could soon make a decent glass of wine.
I have posted a favorite recipe of mine – the ginger wine. I had this wine first in Bangalore (Bengalaru as it is called now). We would buy it for Rs 150 from this aunty. the wine she made was quite spicy and would burn all its way from our tongues to our tummy. But that was what made it unique. This recipe is not quite as intense but worth every moment spent on it.. It is a nice – to – have before meals , as well as soothing for a cold.
- Ginger - 250gm
- Oranges – 1
- Lemons – 2
- Raisins – 200 gm
- Dry red chillies - 8 to 10
- Water – 2.5 L
- Yeast – 1 tsp
- Pectic enzyme – 1 tsp (optional)
- Sugar – 1Kg
- Wash and dry the ginger. Chop it finely leaving the skin intact.
- Zest the oranges and lemon. Keep aside. Juice the oranges and lemon and keep aside.
- Boil the water along with the ginger, orange and lemon zest, sugar, raisins and dry red chillies. Boil this mix for close to an hour or till the mixture is reduced to half.
- Once reduced, take the pan off the flame. Add the juices and keep aside to cool.
- When the ginger juice has cooled to a “just warm” stage, add the yeast and pectic enzyme. Cool completely.
- Pour it into a bharni or any large plastic/ glass/ ceramic container. Keep covered for 10 days, stirring every day.
- Strain the mixture, discard the solids and keep the wine covered in a dark area for another 20 days.
- Now bottle the wine by straining it carefully. The sediments at the bottom of the bharni should be discarded.
- It might take a while for the haze to disappear. Don’t worry. After a month strain the wine into another bottle. By then the wine should have cleared and ready to drink.
- Pectins are complex carbohydrates found in the walls of fruits. This helps to regulate the flow of water and keep the cell walls rigid. These are natural thickening agents. These are released abundantly when the fruit is boiled. the presence of this carbohydrate in wines cause a cloudy haze, which is hard to remove no matter how long we let it stand.
The best substitute for pectic enzyme is papaya peel. The layer of green immediately under the skin of the papaya contains natural pectic enzyme. I use the peeling from half a papaya as a substitute for one teaspoon of pectic enzyme. Mostly I do without and it works fine for me.