Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkin Wine, Grown on the Vine.

I hope you are working up a Halloween thirst, as I have some ideas for you. Last week we had appleade and Witches brew,  but I am thinking something a little more potent is needed to ward off all those ghosts and goblins.
How about the following interesting idea:

Sir, - Remembering what magnificent pumpkins used to be grown in Central Queensland, way back in the eighty’s, I presume they are still grown on every station up there, and wishing to cheer the inland hard-working classes, including the owners, managers, and overseers, I venture to send you some information taken from the “Morning Post”, August 17th, in their New York cables. A growing pumpkin is tapped and sugar dropped in and the plug replaced tightly. Nature does the rest, and it keeps growing and at length produces a pumpkin wind of rare excellence and flavour – a stronger wine than the pre-war beverage. Now, this is something to learn, and I am sure will be welcome to the thirsty souls in Central Queensland.
Yours faithfully, Frank N. Snodgrass, 420 Burke-street, Melbourne.
The Western Champion (Barcaldine, Queensland) September 3, 1927.

A recipe for Pompion Ale from 1771 keeps on popping up on the Internet, and to be honest, I thought it was urban myth, but on checking, it is indeed in the archives of the American Philosophical Society.

Receipt for Pompion Ale.
Let the Pompion be beaten in a Trough and pressed as Apples. The expressed Juice is to be boiled in a Copper a considerable Time and carefully skimmed that there be no remains of the fibrous Part of the Pulp. After that Intention is answered, let the Liquor be hopped cooled fermented &c as Malt Beer.

If neither of these recipes suit your impending thirst – and, in truth, there is not time now to prepare them – perhaps a nice cider punch will do the trick.

Witches Brew.
3 quarts cider
1 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon whole cloves or allspice
8 sticks cinnamon
½ cup lemon juice
1 quart orange juice
1 quart ginger ale
1.Boil together five minutes one quart cider, sugar and spice, stirring till sugar is dissolved. Cool and strain.
2.Add lemon and orange juice and chill.
3. Pour over ice in a hollowed-out pumpkin or punch bowl, and add ginger ale just before serving.
Yield: about four and a half quarts
New York Times, 26 October, 1951

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