Market Lavington Museum

Mrs Heiron’s ginger wine

The recipes that we have seen recently are typed up in the second file of the Market Lavington and Easterton’s WI local history file. It informs us that they were all transcribed from a cookery book started in 1851. It had belonged to Mrs Painter, the aunt of Mrs M E Gye. (Our museum founder, Peggy, had married into the Gye family.)

Today’s recipe, which was attributed to Mrs Heiron, is for nine gallons of ginger wine. In the 1871 census, we see that Mrs Heiron lived with her husband Richard and their one year old son. They had a grocer’s shop on the High Street in Market Lavington. The census places this in the eastern part of the High Street, between the Workman’s Hall and the Bell Inn (which was just east of The Green Dragon.)

The WI named these premises as being at White Lilac.

To make the wine, you had to cover a pound of ginger with water and boil it for an hour. Then it was poured over the peel of 18 lemons. After a day or two, the strained juice of all these lemons was added and the liquid was poured into a cask, which was then filled up with spring water. After a month, the cask was topped up with some gin or brandy and stopped down.