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Here’s the recipe for May Wine Punch that I make every Beltaine season. I doubt it’s one hundred percent “traditional,” but it’s tasty.

  • 2 bottles Rhine Wine or other German White, chilled
  • 1 liter club soda
  • 1C Sweet Woodruff (Galium odoratum) tea, prepared in advance and chilled
  • 4oz St. Germain Elderflower liqueur
  • Strawberries

In an appropriately sized pitcher or punch bowl, combine all liquid ingredients. Slice a handful or two of strawberries and float on the top as a garnish. If serving from a punchbowl, you may also float a few sprigs of fresh Woodruff, which as you can see from my photo will be in bloom this time of year.

I use Woodruff tea in my May Wine instead of soaking fresh Woodruff in the mixture as some recipes call for, because from what I understand the coumarins (compounds that give the herb the smell of new-mown hay) only express themselves once the plant is dried. Intead of steeping dried Woodruff in the mixture itself, I just make an herbal tea and add it right in.

If instead of a punch you’d like a more potent ‘sipping drink,’ omit the club soda.