“Take a quart of white Wine, and a pint of Sack, steep in it as much broad thime as it will wet, put to it of Galingale and Calamus Aromaticus, of each one ounce, Cloves, Mace, Ginger, and grains of Paradise two drams, steep there all night, the next morning distil it in an ordinary still, drink it warm with Sugar.” -A Queen’s Delight, 1655
Water of Time for the Passion of the Heart
Yes, that is actually the title of the recipe. Naturally, I couldn’t resist.
The base mixture, after sitting overnight, was extremely strong. Dark and murky with herb juice and spices, the jar full of thyme needed only a miniature X-wing to closely resemble Dagobah.
We tried to come up with a method of home distillation, with moderate success… Lacking any proper equipment, we rigged a double bowl system with a tent of tin foil to catch and direct the vapors. However, much of the liquid was lost by this method (we got about one serving), and fearing there wouldn’t be enough to go around, we reserved a bit of the unrefined juice for comparison.
The unrefined juice is the color of thick apple cider, with a flavor like a punch in the face. The thyme flavors are foremost and strongest, giving the mixture a very strong herbal quality that reaches all the way to the back of the throat. The spices are also present, but more understated compared to the thyme.
The pseudo-distilled version is clear, and utterly delicious. It’s so good that we immediately determined that we needed more sophisticated distilling equipment. The thyme and spices are a very delicate taste. Starts like sake, then takes on a hint of sourness which fades into a vaguely nutty sweetness, which transitions into a mildly dry finish.
Conclusion? It’s a surprisingly sophisticated beverage, and entirely unlike anything I’ve ever tried before. LOVED it. :)
Water of Time Recipe
- 1 quart white wine (a little over one bottle)
- 1 pint sack
- a lot of thyme, about 3 oz., or 3 cups
- 1 tsp. galingale
- 1 tsp. calamus
- 1/2 tsp. cloves
- 1/2 tsp. mace
- 1/2 tsp. ginger
- 1/2 tsp. grains of paradise
- sugar to taste