Make Wine From Tea?
I live in the UK. Now, I don't know about the rest of the world, but over here tea is big—I mean really big! Oh, we like the odd cup of coffee every now and then, but we're obsessed with tea! We go through gallons of the stuff. We drink it as soon as we get up in the morning, and before we go to bed at night. We drink it with every meal (and also between meals). So, you get the picture—we like our tea.
Now, basically, there are two ways to drink tea—hot (usually with milk and sugar over here) or cold (chilled with a slice of lemon—rare over here, but it is done).
So, imagine my surprise to discover that there is a third way to drink tea! You can drink it as wine? Yes, you can make wine out of tea! And, I have the recipe! If you have ever wanted to make alcohol at home, now is your chance!
Ye Olde Book of Wine Recipes
Clearing out the spare bedroom last week, I came across an old book of wine recipes from the 1950s. It contained mainly country wine recipes and used no scientific jargon or equipment at all. These were wine recipes from the days when every housewife made her own household wine from whatever fruits and vegetables were in season, with only standard kitchen equipment.
Flicking through its yellowed pages I came across a wine recipe that used tea as the main ingredient. Not only does it make wine that is very pleasant to drink ( and which tastes nothing like tea), but it is also quick and easy to make. I was so impressed that I thought I would share the recipe with you.
The Tea Wine Recipe
The original recipe seems to rely on natural airborne yeasts to create the fermentation, but it might be an Idea to pitch in a good quality wine yeast at the end of the mixing. This way, fermentation should start immediately, rather than having to wait a month as in the original method.
But just in case you want to experiment, here is the original unabridged recipe. Only four ingredients are needed; they are:
- 4 pints of cold tea
- 2 pounds granulated sugar
- 1/2 pound raisins
- 2 lemons
This is taken directly from the book:
"Cut up the raisins and slice the lemons thinly, and put them in a large bowl or jug. Add 2lb. of granulated sugar, then pour on four pints of cold tea. Stir until the sugar has dissolved, then cover the bowl or jug and leave it for a month.
"After this time you will find a scum on top, remove this carefully, then strain off the liquid and bottle.
"Tea wine can be drunk at once, but it is best to keep it a few months first. Keep it in a cool dark place, and don't push the corks in too hard at first.
"It sounds strange to make wine from tea, but it does turn out a good wine, tasting not the least like tea. Of course there is no need to make tea especially for this purpose, if you usually throw away half a pot of tea, as I think most people do (this was written in the days before tea bags), just save this until you have four pints, strain off the tea leaves though.
"I suppose the different kinds of tea and the strength of the brew must make some difference to the wine, so yours will probably turn out differently to your neighbour's"
Easy Wine Recipe
So there you have it. Probably one of the easiest wine recipes you will ever come across. No special equipment is needed, and if you are brave enough to have a go at the original method, you won't even need to buy yeast.
So if you have ever yearned to make alcohol at home, why not begin with home winemaking? It's easy to do and very satisfying.
Go on, you know you want to!