MANX RECIPE – HERB BEER
The herb vervain, known as ‘vervine’ or ‘yn lhus‘ in the Isle of Man, has always been credited with magical properties by the Manx people. A tall plant with spiky leaves and small mauve flowers, it has been said to cure eye, throat and respiratory diseases, liver complaints and feverish conditions.
When the fishing industry ran up against hard times, a “Fairy Doctor” was sometimes called in. One of his remedies was to take a bunch of vervain, boil it in a little water in a boat’s cooking pot and sprinkle the water on each net as it was cast.
This apparently, was sure to bring up the nets brimful of herring. In the same belief, vervain was sometimes put in the buoys which floated the nets.
Take one handful each of Vervain, Nettles, Yarrow, Wild Carrot, St. John’s Wort, Centaury, Marsh Mallow and either Horehound or Hops. Boil together in two gallons of water for half an hour.
Strain off the liquid and add to it one pound of sugar. Let it stand until lukewarm.
Then add two ounces of fresh yeast, or one ounce of dried yeast, cover and let the mixture “work”.
Skim and bottle.
Leave for three days or more.
from As Manx As The Hills, Facebook
recipe compiled by Suzanne Wooley in her book – “My Grandmother’s Cookery Book”