Friday, May 1, 2009

Happy May Day - May Wine

I have often been called the Queen of Cups and yet I'm more recently thinking of myself as the Queen of Spring Tonics.
Spring tonics make my heart sing.
I like them as simple as can be.

May Wine
-how to make-
On or near May Day (May 1) harvest tops (all that is above ground) of Sweet Woodruff Gallium odorata.
Buy a bottle of white wine.
Open the wine, sort the less than lovely parts of the Sweet Woodruff from the lovely and put the lovely parts into the wine.
Let sit for 30 minutes or so, then pour little sips and toast to May, the May Queen and springtime. Make another toast for yourself and for what you wish for in the coming spring season of new growth and wonder.Sweet Woodruff is a modest May Queen. Perhaps a May Princess.
Realted closely to Cleavers Gallium aparine.

The remainder of the May Wine can be stored in the refrigerator and sipped as your heart desires. The tiny bit you have sipped can be replaced by more white wine. It can be topped off as often as you like, depending on how much herb you have in the bottle. It's a bit like making tea in that the first steeping is fragrant and delicate and as the tea steeps longer it becomes full and imparts the deeper notes of a tea, sometimes bringing out the bitter notes. If you add more water to the same tea, it can be lovely still, but different.
This May Wine is like that.
The first day, right after I made it, the taste was delicate and flowery. Now, 3 days later the taste is richer, more full and has a distinct vanilla aroma.
I will sip it strong like it is until the weeks end and then top it with more wine and put it in the fridge. Of course I will offer some up to the May Queen.
Do what you like and trust your instincts.

There are a bit more complicated recipes for May Wine, but I like simplicity.
Try multiple recipes if you like, and let me know what you think.

This is a favorite spring tonic for making the heart joyful.
What could be better.

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