Rose Wine for Sir Wilfred T. Smith

A woman wearing a wreath of roses and holding a glass of rose wine.

Today is the greater feast of Sir Wilfred T. Smith, the founder and first Body Master of Agape Lodge in Pasadena, California.  Because of its proximity to Hollywood, Pasadena is featured in many movies and TV series, sometimes as itself and sometimes as a stand-in for another place. One currently running television series that is set in Pasadena is The Big Bang Theory, which has characters who work at Caltech. Numerous movies have exterior shots that are recognizably from Pasadena – from Chinatown to Back to the Future (which used the Gamble House as a location) to Pulp Fiction. The city of Pasadena’s website has a partial list of films and shows shot in Pasadena.

Pasadena may be best known best for the Rose Parade every New Year’s Day, however. Many Thelemites love both roses and wine, so we present this recipe in honor of Pasadena.

Rose Wine

A woman wearing a wreath of roses and holding a glass of rose wine.Take a well glazed earthen vessel and put into it three gallons of rose-water drawn with a cold still. Put into that a sufficient quantity of rose leaves, cover it close, and set it for an hour in a kettle of hot water to take out the whole strength and tincture of the roses; and when it be cold press the rose leaves hard into the liquor, and steep fresh ones in it, repeating it till the liquor has got the full strength of the roses. To every gallon of liquor put three pounds of loaf sugar, and stir it well, that it may melt and disperse in every part. Then put it into a cask, or other convenient vessel, to ferment, and put into it a piece of bread toasted hard and covered with yeast. Let it stand about thirty days, when it will be ripe and have a fine flavor, having the whole strength and scent of the roses in it; and you may greatly improve it by adding to it wine and spices. By this method of infusion, wine of carnations, clove gilliflowers, violets, primroses, or any other flower, having a curious scent, may be made.

–From Rose Recipes of Olden Times, by Eleanor Sinclair Rohde.


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