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A refreshing drink can be made of fresh strawberries, raspberries, cherries, or currants. Cook a quart of fruit with a pint of water until well softened; then strain and press out the juice through a heavy cloth. When cold, sweeten and dilute to taste and serve in gla.s.ses filled with cracked ice.
Add a quart of water to three quarts of grapes, free from the stems; let them come slowly to the boiling-point; then strain through a thick cloth. Return the liquid to the fire, let it again come to the boiling-point, and turn at once into gla.s.s jars and seal immediately.
Use a porcelain-lined kettle and wooden spoon in preparing the juice.
Put three quarts of ripe raspberries into an earthen bowl; pour over them a quart of vinegar; at the end of twenty-four hours press and strain out the liquor and turn it over another three quarts of fresh ripe berries. Let it stand another twenty-four hours; again express and strain the juice, and to each pint add a pound of sugar, and boil for twenty minutes. Turn it into bottles, and cork when cold. When used dilute the raspberry vinegar with three parts of water.
Koumiss, which is simply fermented milk, can easily be made at home after the receipt given below, and can then be had sweet and is much more palatable than the acid koumiss sold at pharmacies. It is a valuable drink or diet for invalids with weak digestion, or for dyspeptics.
[Sidenote: Driving the corks.]
[Sidenote: Tying the corks.]
For making koumiss it is necessary to have strong bottles (champagne bottles are best), and they must be scrupulously clean. A corking machine is requisite for driving in the corks. This is placed over the bottle; the cork, which has steamed an hour or more in hot water until softened, is placed in the side opening and the rammer pounded until the cork is free from the machine. The cork must be tied down to insure safety. A loop of twine is placed over it, then drawn tight around the neck of the bottle, brought back, and tied over the top of the cork.
[Ill.u.s.tration: UTENSIL FOR DRIVING CORKS INTO BOTTLES.]
[Ill.u.s.tration: METHOD OF TYING DOWN CORKS IN KOUMISS BOTTLES.]
[Sidenote: The champagne tap.]
A champagne tap for drawing the koumiss is also necessary, as it contains so much gas, it is impossible to draw the cork without losing a good part of the contents of the bottle.
[Ill.u.s.tration: CHAMPAGNE TAP FOR DRAWING KOUMISS OR ANY EFFERVESCING DRINK WITHOUT UNCORKING THE BOTTLE.]
[Ill.u.s.tration: SHAKERS FOR MIXING ANY ICED DRINKS.]
RECEIPT.--Fill quart bottles three quarters full of fresh milk; add to each one a tablespoonful of fresh brewer's yeast and a tablespoonful of sugar syrup. The syrup is made by boiling sugar and water together to a syrup (the sugar must be used in this form). Shake the bottles for some minutes to thoroughly mix the ingredients, then fill them nearly full with milk and shake them again. Cork and tie them, and stand them upright in a cool place for two and a half days; then turn them on the side and use as needed. They should be kept in a cool, dark place, so the fermentation will be slow, and the temperature should be about 52, or low enough to prevent the milk from souring.
Brewer's yeast is best and gives the koumiss the taste of beer; but compressed yeast may be used, a fifth of a cake dissolved being added to each bottleful of milk.
The temperance movement has made great advance since the days when it was not considered etiquette for a man to leave the table sober, and also from recent times when men lingered at the table after the ladies had withdrawn, to partake of strong liquors with their cigars.
To-day there are some people who exclude wine entirely from their table, and many others who serve it only in moderation.
It is common now to have but three kinds, such as sherry, claret and champagne, and sometimes only one. In this respect, therefore, one may follow his own conviction without fear of being considered peculiar.
The usual order of serving wines is as follows:
[Sidenote: White wines.]
With the first course of the dinner there should be served a white wine of some kind, such as Niersteiner, Hochheimer, or Liebfrauenmilch amongst the Rhine wines; Zeltinger, Josephshofer, or Scharzberger Muscatel amongst the Moselle wines; Haut Barsac, Haut Sauterne, or Chateau Yquem amongst the white Bordeaux wines; and Chablis, Nuersault or Montrachet amongst the white Burgundies.
Sherry is served with soup. It should be light and dry, and should be chilled by being placed in the ice-box for some time before dinner. Champagne is now served with the fish and continued all through dinner. Claret or Burgundy is served with the game. Pontet Canet, Larose, Leoville, Margaux, and Lafite are standard vintages amongst the clarets. Chambertin, Clos de Tart, Clos de Vougeot and Romanee amongst the Burgundies. Claret is sometimes, and very properly, served at the same time as champagne, as many people drink no other wine. In this case a higher grade of claret or a fine Burgundy should be served with the game.
The white Bordeaux and Burgundy wines should be served cool.
Rhine and Moselle wines are best at a temperature of about 40 F.
[Sidenote: Sweet champagne.]
[Sidenote: Care of wines.]
The champagne should be very dry (brut) and served very cold.
Half an hour in ice and salt before dinner will bring it to about the right temperature. Sweet champagnes are but seldom served nowadays, and are more appreciated, perhaps, at ladies'
luncheons than at dinners. Sweet champagne cannot be too cold and should be frappe if convenient. Clarets and Burgundies should stand upright on the dining-room mantelpiece for at least twenty-four hours before they are required, in order that the wine may acquire the temperature of the room, as well as be prepared for decanting. Wines old in bottle will form more or less deposit, which, if shaken up with the wine, will injure it. After standing twenty-four hours the sediment will fall and the wine should then be decanted (with the aid of a candle), care being taken that no sediment pa.s.ses into the decanter.
Neither claret nor Burgundy is good the second day after decanting. They contain too small a percentage of alcohol to keep their flavor more than a few hours after the bottle is opened, and what remains over from dinner should be put into the vinegar demijohn. Ports and Madeiras are but little used at dinners, but may still be served with the cheese at the end of dinner, or with the dessert. A gla.s.s of port with a biscuit at five o'clock is very popular in many quarters, and will be welcomed by those who are afraid of tea.
A fine Madeira may be served with the soup instead of sherry, and is the wine par excellence to drink with terrapin. A superior quality of brandy and various liqueurs are usually served with coffee. In buying wines it is always best to go directly to a reliable wine merchant and take his advice. Especially is this true when the buyer himself has no great knowledge of the different kinds of wines. It has been said that a man's wine merchant should stand in as close relation to him as his lawyer or his physician.