hist-brewing: misc non-alcoholic sources

Crystal Isaac xtal at sigenetics.com
Wed Mar 15 14:17:08 PST 2000

Hello Nial the Wanderer (mka A.J.),

I know it's been ages since I promised to post this but <tedious personal
details deleted>.

Here's some of my favorite non-alcoholic recipes, mostly syrups intended to
be diluted for drinking. All or nearly all involve bringing sugar solutions
to a high temperature, so keep an eye on your young friend.

If you need more, or your young friend would like more fruit-based ideas,
please feel free to write back.

Of course, the inevitable sekanjabin recipe:
Anonymous. _An Anonymous Andalusian Cookbook of the 13th Century. A Complete
Translation by Charles Perry of the Arabic Edition of Ambrosio Huici Miranda
with the assistance of an English Translation by Elise Flemming, Stephen
Bloch, Habib ibn Al-Andalusi and Janet Hinson of the Spanish Translation by
Ambrosio Huici Miranda_. ©1992 by Charles Perry. Reprinted in A Collection
of Medieval and Renaissance Cookery Books by Friedman, David (Sir Cariadoc
of the Bow) Published privately. pages A-71 to A-78

Page A-74.
"Syrup of Simple Sekanjabin (Oxymel)
Take a ratl of strong vinegar and add it to two ratls of sugar, and cook all
this until it takes the form of a syrup. Drink an uqiya of this with three
of hot water when fasting ... make it with six uqiyas of sour vinegar for a
ratl of honey and it is admirable."

The sekanjabin has a rose and cardamom variant that is quite delightful, but
its documentation taken from 14th century literature (rather than a cookery
or medicine book), which some people are less comfortable with. If it
intrigues you, please write back and I'll send you the article.

Maimonides, Moses (1135-1204 CE). _Maqalah Fi Bayan Ba‘D Al-A‘Rad
Wa-A;-Jawab ‘Anha Ma‘Amar Ha-Hakra‘Ah_. edited and translated by Leibowitz,
JO and Marcus, _S. Moses Maimonides on the Causes and Symptoms (Maqalah Fi
Bayan Ba‘D Al-A‘Rad Wa-A;-Jawab ‘Anha Ma‘Amar Ha-Hakra‘Ah [and] De Causis
Accidentium)_. Published by University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
1974. ISBN 0-520-02224-6 LCCCN 71-187873

page 125 - 127
"Galen, and those who preceded him among the physicians, mentioned a drink
which they name in their language hydromel; they used to prepare it from
honey and thin white wine, as they used to prepare oxymel from vinegar and
honey. But their successors, as they prepared oxymel from sugar and vinegar,
prepared hydromel from sugar and wine. This is a most excellent drink,
beneficial in strengthening the stomach and the heart,...The description of
its preparation is: take five Egyptian pounds of sugar, cook it as syrups
are cooked, removing its foam, until it acquires a good consistency. Then
cast into it one Egyptian pound of good wine, and thicken it into a syrup of
the consistency of syrup of rose. This Servant has mentioned this syrup
along with the foods only because it resembles them...."

page 139
" ...If there is thirst, drinking oxymel of roses is preferable to drinking
hydromel...drinking oxymel of currants is preferable."

and this is Spanish recipe is good and can also be made into a soda is you
add a little yeast and bottle (making soda from period recipes is a habit of
mine that gives the more relentlessly historical among us the foaming fits,
you can decide if it is something you want to do or not). I usually use more
ginger and less cloves, but that's just me.

de Nola, Ruperto. _Libro de Guisados_. Spanish edition edited by Perez,
Dionisio. Published by: Nueva Biblioteca de Autores Espanoles 9. Madrid
1929. Unpublished translated by Carroll-Mann, Robin. Circa 1529.

"3. ESPECIAS DE CLAREA - Spices for Clarea

Three parts cinnamon; two parts cloves; one part ginger, all ground and
strained through a hair sieve, and for one azumbre of white wine put an
ounce of spices with a pound of honey, well mixed and strained through your
sleeve of good thick linen, and strained through it  often enough that the
wine comes out clear.

4. CLAREA DE AGUA - Clarea from Water

To one azumbre of water, four ounces of honey; you must cast in the same
spices as for the other clarea; you must give it a boil with the honey over
the fire and [when it is] off the fire you must cast in the spices."

and the lemonade from LaVarrene is really good, you just have to remember to
go easy on the flowers or it gets a bit mouth-drying. Or if you use a rose
water as a base it is less drying; or if you are low on petals.

La Varenne, Francois Pierre de. _The French Cook_ [Anr ed.] For Charls
Adams, 1654. 12°. University Microfilms International. (1653 English
translation of the 1651 text). Page 288-9

"How to make lemonade

It is made feveral waies, according to the divtersity of the ingredients.
For to make it with jalfomine, you muft take of it about two handful, infufe
it in two or three quarts of water, and there leave it for the fpace of
eight or ten hours; then to one quart of water you fhal put fix ounces of
fugar; thofe of orange flowers, of mufcade rofes & of gilli flowers are made
after the fame way. For to make that of lemon, take fome lemons, cut them
and take out the juice, put it in water as above said, pare another lemon,
cut it into flires, put it among this juice, and fome fugar proportionably.

That of orange is made the fame way"

Oh yes, and the mint-lavender syrup Master Wulfric makes from this recipe is
just fabulous. I _think_ he uses twice as much lavender as mint.

Spurling, Hilary, _Elinor Fettiplace’s Receipt Book: Elizabethan Country
House Cooking_. Published by Penguin Books, London England, 1986. Page 154.

“ To Make Sirrope of any Hearbe or Flower

Fill an Earthen Jugge full of the berbes of flowers you will make sirroppe
of, then ad to yt as much spring water as yor Jugge will receive, so let yt
stand where yt may bee kept warme 2 howers, then strain yor licoure from the
rest very hard, then to that licoure put more of the herbes of flowers, and
let yt stand 2 howers as you did before, thus you must doe 3 times strayning
out the licoure and putinge in fresh herbes the last time ad to every pinte
of licoure 2 pound of sugar smale beaten, set yt in yor Jugge againe in a
pott of warme water till yor sugar bee dissolved but cover yt not untill yt
bee cold"

good luck,
Crystal of the Westermark

Crystal A. Isaac
“I took advantage of a pigeon once.” -- overheard at choir practice

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