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Spices and fruit juices were often used to mask imperfections and to provide variety in wine and other alcoholic beverages. There were those who would even say that their addition was a necessity. In 1576, George Gascoyne wrote the following in A Delicate Diet, for daintie mouthed Droonkardes: "Yea, wine of it selfe is not sufficient, but Suger, Limons, & sundry sortes of spices, must be drowned therin."143

Many spices, herbs and different fruits have been mentioned in the preceding pages. Keeping track of all of them could be difficult. Below, therefore, are several lists and excerpts taken from my sources, the first is taken from the appendices of Delightes for Ladies and contains all of the herbs and spices listed in that book for use in wines and distilled spirits. The second list is culled from the Garden issue of the Complete Anachronist, issue #25, and is a list of herbs used by the Medieval brewers and vinters. The third list enumerates the fruits and flowers for the making of wine which comes from the book Wines & Beers of Old New England. While not European the time frame of this book is still within our period of study since many of the ideas and practices were brought with the settlers from across the seas from their native Europe and earlier times. Following these are two lists of my own compilation, being alphabetic listings of the other three merged together. Lastly are two excerpts, one from A Collection for the Improvement of Husbandry..., written by John Houghton and later revised in 1727 in London by Richard Bradley, and the second, being a list of spices and some of the drinks that they were used in, comes from Gods, Men, and Wine by William Younger.

From Delightes for Ladies:

Cloves, mace, nutmeg, juniper, rosemary, sage, sweet fennel seeds, marjoram, lemon peel, orange peel, balm, galingales, anise seeds, caroway seeds, mint, thyme, pellitory, camomile, lavender, liquorice, hysop, eglantine.

From Complete Anachronist:

Sweet gale, alecost, round ivy, rosemary, sage, yarrow, lovage, tansy, gillyflowers, sweet woodruff, rue, buglass, balm, marjoram.

From Wines & Beers of Old New England:

Apple, apricot, balm, carrot, celery, cherry, chokecherry, clove, clover, coconut, corn stalk, cowslip, cranberry, cyprus, dandelion, date, elderberry, elder flower, ginger, goldenrod, gooseberry, grape, grape leaf, grape tendril, hawthorn, hops, Jerusalem artichoke, juniper, lemon, lettuce, loganberry, marigold, may blossom, mint, mulberry, nettle, oak leaf, orange, pansy, parsnip, peach, peapod, pineapple, plum, potato, potato stalk, primrose, pumpkin, quince, raisin, raspberry, rhubarb, rice, rose, rose hip, rowenberry (mountain ash), sage, spinach, spruce, squash, strawberry, sycamore, tomato, turnip, walnut, wheat, whortleberry, yarrow.

An alphabetic listing of fruits and vegetables:

apple, apricot, carrot, celery, cherry, chokecherry, coconut, cranberry, date, elderberry, gooseberry, grape, jerusalem arti- choke, juniper (berry), lemon, lettuce, loganberry, mulberry, orange, parsnip, peach, peapod, pineapple, plum, potato, pumpkin, quince, raisin, raspberry, rhubarb, rice, rowenberry (mountain ash), spinach, squash, strawberry, tomato, turnip, wheat, whortle- berry

An alphabetic listing of herbs, spices and other flavorings:

alecost, anise seeds, balm, buglass, camomile, caroway seeds, clover, cloves, corn stalks, cowslip, cyprus, dandelion, eglantine, elder flower, fennel seeds (sweet), gale (sweet), galingales, gillyflowers, ginger, goldenrod, grape leaf, grape tendril, hawthorn, hops, hysop, ivy (round), lavender, lemon peel, liquo- rice, lovage, mace, marigold, marjoram, may blossom, mint, nettle, nutmeg, oak leaf, orange peel, pansy, pellitory, potato stalk, primrose, rose (petal), rose hips, rosemary, rue, sage, spruce, sycamore, tansy, thyme, walnut, woodruff (sweet), yarrow

From A Collection for the improvement of Husbandry...:

The things besides sugar and its compounds, now-a-days greatly used for mixtures [with wine] are the juices of many fruits, as gooseberries, currants, and what not: but those which make the bulk are the juices of elder-berries and the great grape, anglicŠ cyder, and if these be the worst, I do not see any great evil attends it.

From Gods, Men, and Wine:

Spices used included: Ginger, cinnamon, grains of Paradise (a type of pepper), saffron, nutmeg, clove carnations, fennel and whatever else could be found or grown in the area.

Bochet - (French) Ale, Honey, Spices, Water

Braket - (English) Ale, Honey, Pepper

Hippocras - (English) Wine, Honey, Spices

Clarre - (English) same as Hippocras

Metheglyn - Mead with Spices

Piment - Wine, Honey, Spices

Gariofilatum - Wine, Cloves, Honey

Gillyflower Wine - Wine, Honey (or sugar), Water, Clove carnations

These spiced wines could be mulled on cold winter nights, or used as liqueurs or desert wines.

You will, no doubt, have noticed that there is a definate overlap in all of the above lists and excerpts. It was intentional that I not remove the duplicates so that you, the reader, can see that these same fruits and spices were used in many places and even in different areas within the general subject of the making and usages of alcohol for the purpose of drinking.

You will note, also, that while some of the above named spices and fruits may be unfamiliar to you, many are in common use today, and quite probably already in your kitchen. If this is not the case, it almost certainly should be, not just for brewing and vinting, but also for use in cooking. I, myself fall into the category of cooks who have a spice shelf just above the stove and if something just happens to 'fall' from the shelf, well, in it goes. I am a little more selective in the spices which go into my wines and meads, having used only a handful for this purpose (nowhere near the above lists), but having gotten these lists together, I expect to be doing further experimentation with other herbs and spices in my search for the perfect beverage. I may never find this beverage, but I shall certainly have much fun in the trying.

Meadery Access