Recipe: Spruce Beer

Put into a large kettle, ten gallons of water, a quarter of a pound of hops, and a tea-cupful of ginger. Boil them together till all the hops sink to the bottom. Then dip out a bucket full of the liquor, and stir into it six quarts of molasses, and three ounces and a half of the essence of spruce. When all is dissolved, mix it with the liquor in the kettle; strain it through a hair sieve into a cask; and stir well into it half a pint of good strong yeast. Let it ferment a day or two; then bung up the cask, and you may bottle the beer the next day. It will be fit for use in a week.

For the essence of spruce, you may substitute two pounds of the outer sprigs of the spruce fir, boiled ten minutes in the liquor.

To make spruce beer for present use, and in a smaller quantity, boil a handful of hops in two gallons and a half of water, till they fall to the bottom, Then strain the water, and when it is lukewarm, stir into it a table-spoonful of ground white ginger; a pint of molasses; a table-spoonful of essence of spruce; and half a pint of yeast.

Mix the whole well together in a stone jug, and let it ferment for a day and a half, or two days. Then put it into bottles, with three or four raisins in the bottom of each, to prevent any further fermentation. It will then be fit for immediate use.

Year 1887