Author Notes: This is a recipe for gardeners and friends of gardeners. When the delicate flowering herb Sweet Woodruff (Asperula odorata) blooms in May, harvest its dainty white blossoms to make May wine, a fragrant, herbal-infused white wine traditionally served with a strawberry. It makes a light spritzer mixed with equal parts sparkling water or inexpensive sparkling wine. —AppleAnnie
Serves: 6 to 8
liters of an inexpensive, young, mildly sweet or fruity white wine, such as Chablis, Chenin blanc, Riesling, Rhine, or Moselle. (one bottle)
sprigs sweet woodruff blossoms, including some leaves and stems
- Pick the woodruff and rinse in cool water, spread out on a towel to dry.
- Preheat over to 275 degrees F. Transfer woodruff blossoms to a cookie sheet and toast in the oven for up to 5 minutes, or as soon as the distinctive fragrance becomes noticeable.
- Open the bottle of wine, and quickly add the warm blossoms to the wine, pushing them down into the bottle. (Chop sticks are helpful here.) A little wine may have to be poured out if it overflows, but keep the wine level right up to the top of the bottle, to protect from oxidizing.
- Tightly close the bottle with a wine stopper or cork and store in a cool dark place. It can be tasted after three days, but will be best after five to seven days. If you taste, add more wine to keep the bottle full.
- Strain before serving, and served chilled, with a strawberry in the glass. (Good in spritzers with sparkling water, cava, or prosecco. The spritzer becomes a punch or “May bowl” –a German cousin to Spain’s white sangria–with the addition of a cup of sugared strawberries, crushed or sliced.)