Sunday, January 14, 2007

Beetroot Wine – Sweet wine

"Wine is bottled poetry."
Robert Louis Stevenson

Yes it is !! I had been on wine country and wine tasting tours a couple of times last year. Now I have become a huge fan of dessert wines/Sweet wines. But a nostalgia engulfs me whenever I stroll through the wine section of supermarkets; the flavour of that sweet wine I tasted years back, at a Kerala-christian wedding, rushes back followed by a strange craving for the sweet wine my mother makes….Finally, I decided to take a risk. It was X’mas time and I tried my mother’s recipe for Beetroot wine; it turned out to be a great hit ! The beauty is that none can guess its beetroot as it’s quite fruity in aroma and flavour. Many of our friends raved a lot about it and you believe it or not, I did get some calls asking for more wine!!!! So here’s your chance to fetch some compliments; the recipe follows:

Ingredients: (Approx.)
Beetroot : 1 kg
Sugar : 1 kg (50 oz)
Yeast : 1 tsp
Lemon : 2 small ones
Water : 3.5 litres
Cinnamon : 3-5 small sticks
Clove : 7nos
Warm water : ½ cup

Directions :
1. Wash the beetroots and peel off the skin and finely grate them.
2. Dissolve yeast in lukewarm water with ½ tsp sugar and let it rise.
3. Boil 3.5 litres of water in a clean saucepan.
4. Add the grated beetroot to the boiling water and leave it till it cooks.
5. When the beetroot is cooked, turn off the stove and once it is lukewarm, strain the mixture preferably to a Bharani or any earthenware container or a glass jar and leave the grated portion. Use a cheesecloth or muslin cloth for straining the liquid.
6. Once you are done with straining, add the sugar and dilute well with a wooden spatula; then add the squeezed lime juice and the dissolved yeast. At this stage, add the cinnamon sticks and cloves as well.
7. The container should be airtight and store it, in a dark space, for fermentation for 15 days. On the 4th or 5th day, open the container and stir it with a wooden spatula and let it rest till the 15th day.
8. After the fermentation process, strain it once more to make sure that there are no residues and bottle the wine and rack them at room temperature in a cupboard.
9. Serve with a fruit cake and a smile :)

The colour of the wine will be exactly that of the beetroot used; So make sure that good quality beetroots are used. Also, for the yeast to convert sugar into alcohol, it is mandatory to keep the oxygen out and hence make sure that container is airtight. The alcoholic and the mild fizzy effect also depend on the quality of the yeast used. Please ensure that the fermentation jars and bottled wines are not filled fully; leave some room. Once they are bottled, it can be used any time; it’s better not to age this particular wine as the colour may be compromised and taste also changes. The sweetness of the wine is as per our family choice; you are free to increase or decrease the quantity of sugar but I suggest doing that only after your first trial as you get an idea how much to change and can make adjustments accordingly next time.

Related Posts:

Fruit Cake Pineapple wine Grape wine

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