Day 282: Herbed Ritual Wine

Woodruff wine using fresh woodruff

May wine using fresh woodruff

Today seems a bit of an odd addition to Roderick’s 366.  Today, he asks us to make an herbed ritual wine with a couple tablespoons of dried woodruff, a bottle of white wine, a teaspoon of lemon juice, and honey to taste.  It’s easy enough.  Just mix everything together and let them sit a few hours, then strain out the solids and serve (preferably during cakes and wine).

The thing is…what Roderick is asking us to do is to basically make May Wine, which is a German tradition and not one particularly connected with Witches.  It is, however, traditionally served in the spring and especially around May day.  Maybe the Beltane crossover made it a favorite with witches?  At any rate, it’s not exactly a necessary thing to have for cakes and wine, and–as I’ve mentioned before–I’ve grown quite fond of using my homemade kombucha as my ritual wine.  Perhaps I should try steeping a bit of woodruff in that?

At any rate, the May wine I’ve tried and liked best was more like a punch.  It required you to soak 1/2 cup of dried woodruff in 1 bottle of a sweet Riesling wine for about one hour (or more or less to taste).  After that infused, you poured it over about 1 cup of chopped (or sliced) strawberries and a handful of fresh woodruff sprigs, then poured a bottle of champagne over that and gave it all a bit of a stir.

As lovely as that tastes, with the quantity you make of that, May wine is clearly something that is best when it is shared with a great group of friends!


One thought on “Day 282: Herbed Ritual Wine

  1. You know, I actually made May wine recently…for my Beltane initiation! Initially D. asked me to supply a red wine for that circle, but one of our covenmates–who was traveling over 200 miles to be at my initiation!–is allergic to tartaric acid, which basically means no red wine for him. So I made May wine out of a bottle of white wine that I steeped with fresh woodruff and sliced strawberries for about an hour before serving. I figured the red strawberries would carry the red symbolism enough to be appropriate, while still respecting my friend’s allergy.

    It was delicious! Like vanilla and sweetgrass combined with the brightness of strawberries. The one bottle for the six of us was plenty for everyone to have at least one smallish glass each, which worked out pretty well.

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