Sparkolloid is a proprietary wine fining made by Scott Laboratories. It is a combination of diatomaceous earth and polysaccharides. It is more suitable for vegans in that it is derived from fossils of algae. It is easy to prepare, you need only boil it in water for five minutes and add it to your wine hot. It has a neutral odour and very little effect on the flavour of the finished product.
Isinglass is a wine fining made from the byproducts of the fishing industry, specifically it is a gelatin made from the swim bladders of sturgeon and other fish. It has a dubious smell in dried form and is difficult to mix. If you allow it to get warm after mixing or you keep it too long after hydration it smells pretty foul. However, if used correctly, it is a very effective fining agent that can render a wine or other liquor crystal clear, and because it settles out completely none of its undesirable properties remain in the wine. Overall, if used properly, it is a very good fining. Even though it settles out of the beverage it is not vegetarian.
This delicious elderflower cordial is based on table sugar that is turned to invert syrup and flavoured with dried elderflowers and winemaking ingredients. It’s pleasantly acidic and sweet and perfect for mixing to drink or to sweeten other foods.
This recipe is adapted from Marguerite Patten’s 1963 book “500 Recipes for Home-Made Wines and Drinks” though the quantities have been adjusted to be more convenient and correspond to the typical sizes in which the ingredients are packaged. This recipe has the advantage of requiring few special ingredients beyond the basics and makes a delicious beverage like dilute bourbon. Continue reading “Rice “Whisky””