The intent of this writing is not to provide the reader with
a recipe list, although recipes will be included in the text. What
I hope to achieve is to provide a single, comprehensive source of
documentation for all phases of the production of alcohol and its
use in various drinks which can be used for competitions in the
Arts and Sciences, or simply for personal knowledge. This type of
information is often more difficult to find in our craft than it
might be in many others and I hope that this will become a useful
reference for all brewers and vinters.
To this end I have located what period sources that I could find
(The Closet of Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt. Opened and Delightes for Ladies
being excellent sources, as were others), as well as many others which
are authoritative on the subject. The reader will find, herein,
liberal doses of direct quotations from these writings, with the
original sources credited, either directly in the text, or in
associated footnotes. The footnotes will usually state only the
author's name, the article or book referenced and the pages referenced.
This will then refer to the complete bibliography. I have included a
number of actual recipes throughout this writing, all of which are
period recipes with the only exception being Mistrss Priscilka's
recipe for Sake. Modifications can be made in these recipes
as long as the materials used are correct for the type of drink
which is being prepared the results should imitate the actual
period beverage to within reasonable limits. Please note that
modern tastes are generally quite different than those held in
period and some modifications may be made simply so that oneself
and one's friends will be willing to drink the finished product.
Substitutions and modifications, however, have to be carefully
chosen, so as not to change too much the overall character of the
Procedures, however, are another matter entirely.
I most heartily agree with Mistress Prisilka od Cervany Kamen (aka
Priscilla Kucik), who recommends the use of period recipes along
with modern preparation techniques1.
These techniques include cleanliness to the point of sterility and the use
of non-porous airtight containers. Another point on the recipes, in the case
of actual period recipes which have come down as they were originally
written, I will repeat them in the same manner so that techniques,
style and materials can be learned.
One further point which must be made: the recipes and instructions
included on the making of brandy and whiskey are for informational
purposes only! Do not actually make these beverages, as they are
distilled and making them is illegal! (If you live outside of the
United Staes, this may not apply to you. Please check your country's
laws concerning this point.) The government tends to frown very
strongly on persons who distill without a proper license and payment
of taxes to the proper authorities.