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Gooseberry Champagne


A Made-Wine from gooseberries, made sparkling by bottling before completely fermented.

Cartoon from 'Punch', 1872
Cheekily suggesting that the Goosberry version is the origin of Champagne

Original Receipt in Rundell 1807

Gooseberry Wine
Take thirty two quarts of unripe gooseberries of the green kind, bruise them well add thirty two quarts of cold water, let them stand for four and twenty hours. Drain the gooseberries well from the liquor through a sieve. Put three pounds and a half of lump sugar to every gallon of liquor, put it into a cask with a bottle of the best gin. Let it stand six months and then bottle it.
Obs This is a receipt from a nobleman's butler who used to boast that he never opened more than one bottle of Champagne at his master's table, all that followed being of his own manufacture. The directions are not quite so precise as those in the foregoing but the cheapness of gin will admit of a bottle being allowed to each ten gallons.

See also: Champagne, Elderflower Champagne

Original Receipt in 'The Cook and Housekeeper's Dictionary' by Mary Eaton (Eaton 1822);

ENGLISH CHAMPAIGNE. Take gooseberries before they are ripe, crush them with a mallet in a wooden bowl; and to every gallon of fruit, put a gallon of water. Let it stand two days, stirring it well. Squeeze the mixture with the hands through a hop sieve, then measure the liquor, and to every gallon put three pounds and a half of loaf sugar. Mix it well in the tub, and let it stand one day. Put a bottle of the best brandy into the cask, which leave open five or six weeks, taking off the scum as it rises. Then stop it up, and let it stand one year in the barrel before it is bottled.

Gooseberry Champagne - not necessarily a good drink for lawyers.
Edinburgh Evening News - Tuesday 11 August 1874

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