|Sweet Woodruff growing in the 6/15 Green Herb Garden|
The wine was meant to be drunk on May Day and I never got the timing right again and so never made it again. It's a shame that I denied myself all those years simply because I couldn't drink it on the actual day. This year, with spring coming early, I had a chance to catch it in time, not to make May Wine, but to make liqueur.
Sweet Woodruff (Asperula odorata) was used as a medicine in the Middle Ages, mostly as either a poltice for cuts and wounds or a strong decoction for stomach troubles. It is known mostly for its sweet scent due to its high coumarin content, the chemical known for giving new mown hay its distinctive odor. Bundles and garlands of woodruff were hung around the house in the heat of summer to "attemper the air, cool and make fresh the place, to the delight and comfort of such as are therein" and is reported to "make a man merry" according to Gerard. The dried herb may also be kept among linens to sweeten them and protect them from insects. It was also once used to stuff beds.
|Sweet Woodruff drying on parchment|
|Three batches of Sweet Woodruff Vodka|