By Parks Canada
Bellevue House National Historic Site
Kitchen Garden at Bellevue House National Historic SiteParks Canada
The heritage grounds and gardens at Bellevue House National Historic Site in Kingston, Ontario, have all you need to make authentic Victorian-era spruce beer.
Europeans learned to consume spruce from Indigenous Peoples in North America.
By the time construction began on Bellevue House in the 1840s, spruce beer was commonly known to Europeans in North America and at home.
In fact, when it was published in Kingston in 1831, The Cook not mad, or Rational cookery, included a recipe for brewing spruce beer.
Recipe for brewing spruce from The Cook not mad, or Rational cookery :
4 ounces of hops
1 gallon of water
16 gallons of warm water
2 gallons of molasses
8 ounces of essence of spruce dissolved in 1 quart of water
1/2 pint of emptins (ale yeast).
Boil the hops in 1 gallon of water for half an hour.
Strain the hops, then add the warm water, molasses, and essence of spruce. Put the mixture in a cask and shake well.
Add the emptins, then let the mixture stand for about one week.
Separate the mixture into bottles, and add a spoonful of molasses to each.
Enjoy experimenting with spruce beer at home!
Please note that this recipe was reproduced from a cookbook published in 1831. Reduce quantities as required for smaller batches.
The Cook not mad, or Rational Cookery. Kingston: James Macfarlane, 1831.
Sylvanus Urban, Gentleman's Magazine, 1752.
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