Drink this May wine to welcome in the spring and renew your sense of youth and vigor. Substitute sparkling white grape juice or apple cider for the white wine to make a nonalcoholic version.
- 7 to 10 sprigs fresh woodruff, flowers removed
- One piece of string, about 8 inches long
- 1 bottle white wine (preferably a young wine, from the previous year's vintage)
- 2 tablespoons honey (optional)
- 1 16-ounce bottle club soda (optional)
- Extra woodruff sprigs or leaves (for optional garnish)
- Several fresh strawberries (for optional garnish)
- One small orange, thinly sliced (for optional garnish
Begin by tying the stems of the woodruff together with the length of string, creating a bundle. As you prepare the woodruff, think about the plant's energy, associated with sexuality, protection, and magickal power. Open the white wine and tuck the bundle of woodruff into the bottle so that the herbs are submerged in the liquid, and the length of string hangs out the top of the bottleneck. Let this sit for a couple of hours, then pull the woodruff out of the bottle. Chill the wine in the refrigerator.
If you want to make a sweet wine, drizzle honey into the wine bottle, put the cork back in, and shake it around a bit until the honey blends with the wine. Your May wine is ready to drink at this point, but if you prefer to jazz it up a bit, pour the wine into a large punch bowl, add the club soda, and toss in a few orange slices and woodruff leaf clusters to float on the surface of the liquid. If you like, garnish each individual serving with a fresh strawberry cut with a slit at the bottom so that it can be placed along the rim of the wine glass.
Excerpted from Beltane, by Melanie Marquis.