This blog is a record of the wine that I make and drink. Each flavour made and each bottle drunk will appear here. You may come to the conclusion that, on the whole, I should be drinking less.

Saturday 10 November 2012

Ginger Wine - The Making Of ...

It has been a long time since I made ginger wine - at least eight years. On that occasion a large solid lump formed in the liquid, looking like a diseased organ stored in formaldehyde. I hope I shall have more success this time.
The raw ingredients

Last time I remember bananas being in the recipe, but I could not find this in any of my books. Those books all require such a pathetically small amount of ginger - 1 oz in the case of C J J Berry, and a quarter of this from Brian Leverett - that I ignored these recipes entirely. Instead I found instructions on the Guardian website, which was bold in the amount of ginger - five inches worth. In fact, I have shied away from that much and probably used three inches instead. Skinned, this weighs 2½ ounces. I am also concerned about the number of lemons. Four strikes me as too many, but that is what I have used.

So, on Sunday 4th November I skinned the ginger and sliced it as finely as I could. I grated the zest off the lemons and minced one pound of sultanas. The Guardian recipe asks for raisins, but I didn't have any of those in the cupboard. All of this went into my bucket and I have covered it with 3½ pints of boiling water. Again I am going to deviate from the given instructions. I am meant to leave this for 24 hours before doing anything else, but I need to put it into its demijohn on Friday night, and leaving this till Monday will be too late. I have boiled another 3½ pints of water and added the juice from all four lemons and 3 lbs sugar into the pan in which I have boiled the water. This will stand around and cool until I return from Julia's tonight, at which point I shall pour that into the bucket and add the yeast and a teaspoon of nutrient.
The processed ingredients
I put the liquid into its demijohn on Friday night, 9th November, and this was rapid work. Which was lucky, as I did my wine making tasks (including bottling the Rhubarb) before eating, and by the time I had finished I was ready for my steamed trout, plum sauce and noodles.

The wine has been smelling fabulous every day I have stirred it, and the small taste I got at this stage was promising.


If you want to read how the first bottle turned out (and it was good!) click here


  1. I have a demi of ginger wine just about ready to be bottled. I too was quite generous with the ginger and even added some cayenne - should be interesting. No solid lump for me yet ;)

  2. I have a couple of batches of ginger wine on the go too, and one in bottles. The latter had to be heavily sweetened to be drinkable and is incredibly strong - but it is delicious. It did involve bananas - a Ben Turner recipe I think.

  3. Yes - hard to imagine it is possible to use too much ginger! I've got plenty in my latest batch of Marrow plonk. Also I'm pleased to see I'm not the only person to 'wangle' recipes to suit my diary. Cheers Ben!

  4. I'm quite keen to give ginger wine a whirl. How similar is it to the commercially available stuff? (which I love with a cheap whisky, but can't drink on its own). I'm also thinking a wine of rhubarb and lashings of ginger next year…

  5. I'm not actually sure - which I know is not helpful. I suspect 'not very': drier would be my guess, and probably more palatable to drink an entire bottle of the homemade stuff. I will be doing lots of experimenting with it, though first results will not be due for a year. Certainly rhubarb and ginger sounds like a winning combination.