Glass of wine with decanter of wine
How Herbal Wine Was Made In Ancient Egypt
From sourdough to pie filling, Ancient Egypt is to thank for many delicious culinary creations including herbal wine, which was enjoyed by the elite and common classes alike.
Winemaking was well-established in Ancient Egypt, and vineyards thrived along the Nile, where the grapes were harvested and then crushed in tall clay jars called amphorae.
The crushed grapes were then fermented via natural yeasts present in the grapes’ skin and sweetened with honey. As a last step before sealing, herbs were added to the wine.
These herbs were selected for their medicinal value and included everything from pine tree resin, frankincense, and myrrh to mint, sage, rosemary, and thyme to wormwood and hyssop.
The alcohol would have been a natural preservative for the herbs while ensuring a higher potency and more thorough dissolution than if the herbs had been mixed with water.
The resulting wine may have tasted similar to a bitter Italian amaro, woody Dominican mamajuana, or even spiced, fiery, and herbaceous liqueurs like Fernet or Underberg.