hist-brewing: Historic Liqueur -Reply

Beth Ann Snead ladypeyton at yahoo.com
Fri Apr 2 17:04:06 PST 1999

I have a refernce for a lightly carbonated lemon-raisin type beverage that is drunk from a well
stop't vessel a few days (2 weeks) after fermentation has begun.  It's included in Cindy Renfrow's
book and is called Stepponi (in Digby it is supposed to be cellared in a cool place after 2 weeks
to slow fermentation I suppose this might extend the time between first storage and fireworks;
Martha Washington's Book says drink after 2 weeks) and Nectour or Persenica (in Martha Washington
which is to be bottled with sugar in it.  I am in the middle of an ongoing  real life (gasp!)
discussion with Eric Rhude about whether this method would have made for a carbonated beverage
since his redaction of Digby's Countess of Newport's Cherry Wine ended up with no carbonation and
mine did.  I believe whether or not there was carbonated beverages pre 1609 (when Sir Hugh Platt
first mentions corking in _Delights for Ladies_) had EVERYTHING to do with the length of time
between "bottling" and drinking.  The longer the storage the more gas escapes around your seal
(which before 1609 was usually a rag that was impregnated with wax)

water, etc...).  I plan
> to cheat for mine and use my CO2 tank.  I'll make it even if I can't justify it
> historically, but it would be nice to say it was somehow period, and not
> just magic.

And now for the anal retentive lecture.  Unless you have documented this recipe to period it is not
period (I assume you are SCA since you're using the word period)  You can say you used a period
method (which you don't plan to since you plan to use a CO2 tank) or that you created something
with a period feel (which would be stretching it in this case it seems) or you can simply ignore
whether or not it's a period beverage and say..."I made this I think it's nice.  Do you want to try
it?"  There's nothing wrong with that!  I make some really cool non-period stuff and take it to
events to share.  I just don't make any mention to "period" when I offer it around.  I can't count
the number of times I've drunk Chocolate Liquor or "Badger Brew" (tm) and I love them, (especially
if you bribe the guy who's ladeling the "Badger Brew" for some fruit chunks at Pennsic) but they're
not period and I couldn't care less.  It's rare (if at all) that someone will even ask you if the
libation you are offering them is period or documentable unless you are entering a competition.

Beth Ann
Lettice, Lady Peyton in the SCA   
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