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Wine & Drinks

                      Please scroll down for the following WINE AND DRINKS recipes

SARRATT BACHELORS’ OEUFS (or ‘Bouilleur de Cru’)


3 pints boiling water
30 elderflower heads
3lbs granulated sugar
2ozs citric acid
1 unwaxed lemon, cut into pieces

Pour boiling water onto all of the other ingredients.       Stir the mixture daily for 5 days, then strain through muslin into plastic bottles.

Keeps well in the freezer. 


I started making home wine 5 years ago. I learnt by taking instruction from my dad and by reading a couple of books on the subject. Initially I found it quite intimidating but after about 6 months I discovered making wine was dead easy. A few friends then wanted to start making wine themselves so I tried to write down everything I had learnt in as few words as possible so that they wouldn't feel as intimidated as I did.

Fermentation bucket (Vin ou Biere – Young’s)
Bored demijohn corks
Fermentation locks
Black plastic demijohn covers
A straw
Bottle stoppers (cork or plastic)
Wine bottles
Plastic sieve
Plastic funnel
4 feet plastic tubing (for siphoning)
Wooden spoon
Plastic potato masher

General Ingredients
VWP cleaner/steriliser
Yeast nutrient
Gervin yeast (No. 2 for red wine, No. 5 for white wine)
Tartaric acid
Kwik Clear finings
Fermentation stopper
Camden tablets

Specific Ingredients
For specific ingredients for the particular wine you are making please scroll down.

The Golden Rule
There is one golden rule of winemaking. Everything you use should be sterilised both before and after use. VWP cleaner/ steriliser is easy to use. Follow the instructions on the tub and rinse the items in cold water after sterilisation.

Making a gallon of wine (6 bottles)
There follows a description of how to make a gallon of (any) wine.

1. The initial fermentation should be carried out in a fermentation bucket. Place the ingredients and 1 kilo of sugar in the fermentation bucket and add boiling water to bring it up to 1 gallon (1 kilo of sugar = 12% alcohol but if your ingredients have a lot of sugar in them already then you should reduce the amount of sugar accordingly). Stir well and ensure the sugar has dissolved. Seal the bucket and leave it to cool to about 21°C. Add pectolase, yeast nutrient and yeast (follow the instructions on the packaging for quantities to be used) and stir well. Seal the bucket with the snap on lid and then unsnap an inch or so of the lid in order to allow the carbon dioxide to escape (if you don’t do this the bucket will explode!). Place the bucket somewhere warm where the temperature stays on or around 20 to 24°C.

2. Every day stir the bucket well. You will find that any solids in the bucket will have risen to the top and formed a thick crust.

3. After 4 days, strain the contents of the bucket into the demijohn (using the plastic sieve and plastic funnel). Note that the yeast will all be at the bottom of the bucket so stir the bucket well in order to get as much of the yeast as possible
into the demijohn. Fill the demijohn to the shoulder, fit the bored demijohn cork and the fermentation lock which should be half filled with water. Note that we only fill the demijohn to the shoulder because the fermentation will still be very active and if the demijohn is very full then the contents will come out through the fermentation lock and onto your carpet! Put the black plastic demijohn cover over the demijohn. Put the demijohn back where the bucket was.

4. In a few days when the fermentation is slowing, top the demijohn up to just below the neck with cold boiled water.

5. Keep an eye on the wine and when you don’t see any bubbles rising in the wine then take your straw and feed it though the fermentation lock into the wine. Slurp a bit of the wine. It should be very dry. If not, leave the wine for another couple of days and then do another tasting.

6. Once the fermentation is complete then the wine should be racked. All this means is that we separate the liquid from the solids at the bottom of the demijohn. Siphon the contents of the demijohn into another demijohn using the plastic tubing. Push the plastic tubing down to the bottom of the receiving demijohn so that the wine splashes as little as possible as it fills the demijohn (this is to reduce the chance of the wine oxidising). Remove as much of the wine and as little of the solids as possible. Top up with cold boiled water if necessary. Refit the bored demijohn cork, fermentation lock and black plastic demijohn cover and place the demijohn in a cool place. After a couple of weeks rack the wine again. Keep doing this until the wine is star bright and there is no sediment at the bottom of the demijohn. Note that this process can be considerably shortened by using your Kwik Clear finings (follow the instructions on the packet).

7. Add the fermentation stopper and one camden tablet to the wine (follow the instructions on the packet).

8. Leave for three more days then add sugar to the wine to bring it to the sweetness you desire. Do this by drawing off a jug of the wine, add the sugar and stir well until dissolved. Add this back to the wine and taste. Do this in easy stages, say two ounces of sugar at a time, since it’s easy to make a wine sweeter but impossible to make it drier!

9. Bottle and label your wine.

10. Drink one bottle after a couple of weeks and then keep the rest for 3 months plus, providing you have the willpower to do this!

Specific Ingredients

4 lbs of Elderberry, 1 kilo sugar and 5.5 pints of boiling water. NB. With berries it is a good idea to freeze them after picking, this breaks their skins and aids in extracting the juice.

6 lbs of Blackberry, 1 kilo sugar and 5.5 pints of boiling water. When the blackberries have had the boiling water and sugar added they should be mashed lightly using the plastic potato masher.

Passion Fruit, Apple and White Grape
1 litre of each fruit juice, 1 lb 10 oz sugar, 8 grams tartaric acid and 1.5 litres of boiling water.

Exotic Fruit and White Grape
1 litre exotic fruit juice, 2 litres white grape juice, 1 lb 10 oz sugar, 8g tartaric acid and 1.5 litres of boiling water.

1 pint elderflowers (no stems), 1kg sugar, ½ lb of raisins chopped lightly, juice of 3 lemons and 1 gallon of boiling water.

Elderflower and White Grape
½ pint elderflowers (no stems), 2 litres white grape juice, 1 lb 10 oz sugar, 3 teaspoons tartaric acid and 4½ pints of boiling water.

Useful reading matter
A superb book is ‘Winemaking in Style’ by Gerry Fowles, price £8.95.



4 bottles red wine
30 fl oz (1½ pints) tea (3 Earl Grey teabags)
3 oranges (10 cloves in each)
3 teaspoons cinnamon powder
6 teaspoons mixed spice
12oz soft brown sugar

Heat all the ingredients, without boiling, for ½ hour or until sugar dissolved.

(For large quantities, 7 fl oz tea to each bottle of wine (1 bottle wine = ¾ litre)

Your good health!

Half a jug of red wine
Half a jug of fizzy lemonade or soda water
1 lemon, cut in pieces
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon Curacao
Ice to taste

Put wine, Caracao, sugar and lemon in a large jug. Stir well and put into the refrigerator, preferably for several hours, to chill

Just before serving, add the ice and fill up the jug with chilled fizzy lemonade or soda water. 

SARRATT BACHELORS’ OEUFS (or ‘Bouilleur de Cru’)

A ‘Special for the Boys’ when the women are away on a ‘jolly’ !!
Basically eggs poached in a wine “bouillant” instead of water.

Per Person:

2 huge eggs (try turkey eggs for a change)
1 bottle good red wine
¼ pint cognac
6 cloves
1 orange
Ground cinnamon
Mixed spice

Invite several “single” friends over and attempt to calculate ingredients required. Open wine and pour gently into a bain-marie. Ideally you will be using a little chateau bottled number such as Margaux, Lynch-bages, Leoville Poyferre, - but a good Burgandy such as Gevrey Chambertin slips down just as easily. Don’t make any hasty decisions – let your guests try 8 or 9 types before embarking on the cooking bit.

Attack defenceless orange with a fine grater, to produce a pile of fine peel strips. Add Cognac to wine. Any of the good names will do, but for a real treat go for Normandin Mercier. Add orange peel, cloves, a sprinkle of ground cinnamon and a pinch of mixed spice to the wine and stir until dizzy. Warm mixture very gently, until temperature of mixture reaches 45ºC.

Place eggs carefully back in the refrigerator. Drink the bouillant.       SALUT !!