Beetroot Wine

Another wine recipe that I am adding to my repertoire is this beautiful and delicious beetroot wine that I made sometime ago and completely missed to post! Today I realised that it was the 10th of December already and I had not yet posted this recipe! As this wine needs a minimum of 2 weeks to ferment I think it is perfect to be made just in time for Christmas - if not to be drunk on Christmas day you can definitely enjoy it during the season as the festivities continue upto the New Year. If you are patient enough you can keep it for longer and enjoy it on New Years day and some more for Valentine's Day! Its colour is perfect for this season, what say? 

This wine recipe as the other two I've posted previously (pineapple peel wine & rice wine) are from my mum's handwritten book which she has passed on to me. There's a whole bunch of wine recipes which she never made but thankfully had written it down with the foresight that her daughter would someday make them (perhaps?)

This wine is perfect for those who like to experiments with beetroots. If you have cooked them as a side dish to meals or have boiled them and sliced them up to be served as a salad or grated them and sweetened them up in the form of a halwa or ground them up in the form of a chutney or rolled them up with some semolina into cute little laddoos then why not try them in the form of wine? I am sure you will love this humble root wine!

Beetroot Wine
Prep time: 5 mins | Cooking time: 30-40 mins | Fermenting time: 2 days + 2-3 weeks | Yield approx 3 litres

1. Wash the beetroots well and slice them thinly. Boil them in the water along with the ginger, cloves and zest of the lemon or orange (* see notes) till the beetroots are tender and lose their colour (the colour will change from a deep red to almost peach).
2. While the liquid is still hot strain it into a large pan and add the sugar. Stir till the sugar has dissolved and let the liquid cool down a bit
3. When the liquid is lukewarm scoop out 2 tablespoons of it into a small bowl and add the yeast and give it a stir. Let the yeast froth up for about 10 mins. * see notes
4. Add the yeast mixture and the lemon/orange juice into the liquid, stir well and cover it with two layers of muslin cloth (bairas) and keep undisturbed in a warm place for 2 days to begin fermentation.
5. After two days transfer the liquid into a clean, dry and sterile ceramic jar (bharani/buyaon) or a glass jar with a wide mouth and cover securely with the same muslin cloth topped with a lid. Keep in a warm place for at least 2-3 weeks. The longer you keep it the better it will taste. I recommend a period of 3-4 weeks but 2 weeks is fine.
6. Siphon off and bottle it. Store and enjoy!

1. I used the standard cup measure where 1 cup = 240ml. You need to use potable (drinking) water - filter water is ok or you can boil and cool tap water. Mineral water may not be ideal - this is what I have read.
2. Zest is the outer most skin of citrus fruits. Use a microplane zester or peel the skin very thinly but avoid peeling the white portion of the fruit as it is very bitter.
3. If the yeast does not froth up even after 12-15 mins, discard it. It could be old or of poor quality. Buy good quality, freshly packed yeast.
4. If you don't have a siphon (tube which is used to transfer liquid from a container to another one using a suction method) strain the wine carefully using a muslin cloth or a tea strainer and a funnel into a clean, dry, sterile wine bottle. Make sure that you don't shake the jar too much while straining or the thick, muddy sediment that has settled at the bottom of the jar will get disturbed and ruin the wine. 

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