Fermented drinks have historically been produced from a wide variety of materials containing sugars or carbohydrates that can be converted to sugars.
Wine and beer are, in the modern age as throughout most of history, the dominant fermented drinks. My inclusion of them as 'other drinks' does not lessen their importance, but rather reflects the arc of my focus and interests. Wine and beer have, on the whole, also been much more intensively studied, and as a result their history is better understtod than most other fermented drinks, although the general understanding of their history includes many old ideas and misunderstandings.Cider and perry, made respectively from apples and pears, have a long history of production in locations where these fruit trees grow well and are productive. I maintain a specific interest in these drinks, and my first book, Cider and Perry in Britain to 1700 reflects this interest. This page presents updates with new content for this text.
Fruit has long been included in mixed fermented drinks and in meads. Wines made primarily from fruit are less common historically, although meads with added fruit (melomels) are not uncommon. As sugar became much cheaper in the 17th century most fruit wines began to use that instead of honey to boost sugar content for fermentation and ultimate alcohol content. These drinks are not currently a focus.
More specifically a concocted drink, created after fermentation is finished, hippocras (clary, piment, lautertranck, etc.) is a wine sweetened and spiced. This drink represents another specific interest, due to its long history and the numerous recipes.
Due to legal issues surrounding experimentation, in addition to safety concerns, I am not actively researching distillation and distilled drinks. However, the intersection of distilled and concocted drinks, such as many recipes for Usquebagh form another interest of mine.
I always welcome correspondence with those interested in any of these drinks.
Pages under this:
* Cider and Perry
* Addenda to Cider and Perry in Britain to 1700
* Concocted Drinks
Updated August 19, 2023
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