Uncork some Christmas cheer

The non-alcoholic beverage is healthy when consumed moderately. My grandmother prepares this every Christmas. Tastes best chilled and served with plum cake. As wine is sweeter than store purchased, even children enjoy them.

What you need:

Black grapes and sugar: One kilo each

Yeast: Two Tsp for fermentation

Cinnamon stick: One

Cloves: Four

Sambha wheat: 50 grams

Water: 250 ml

Cooking Instructions:

Clean and dry the ceramic jar. Boil water and let it cool. Wash grapes, remove seeds and set aside. Dissolve yeast in warm water and leave for 10 to15 minutes. Crush grapes with your hands, and place them with the skin in the dry jar. Add sugar and yeast. Then add cinnamon and cloves for aroma and flavour to the wine. Mix all ingredients after adding some water.

Keep the jar tightly closed for 45 days. Stir the mixture once a week with a wooden spoon but leave it untouched for the last 15 days so that sediments settle down and a clear liquid is obtained. After 45 days, strain liquid using a clean cotton cloth. Store wine in clean dry glass bottles.

Glass jars can be used instead of ceramic, gooseberry and rose petals can be substituted for grapes following the same procedure.

J. Martin Leonard is a college professor who is an expert in wine making. He learnt this recipe from his grandmother in Kerala and has been making it every Christmas now.