May means sunny days and warm evenings, and an al fresco lifestyle demands a suitable beverage. This May punch is a highly seasonal concoction, relying on fresh strawberries as well as sweet woodruff, a sweet-scented plant often found in shady or neglected areas of gardens or in forests.
Sweet woodruff is very popular in Germany, which makes this a very appropriate German entry for the preparation stage of my World Cup Challenge. We use it to flavour this very popular punch, as well as the Berliner Weisse beer, sweets or ice creams. To release the favour, you need to pick the woodruff the night before and let it wilt overnight, before leaving it to seep in the wine.
May Punch – Maibowle (makes roughly 3 litres)
- 2 bottles of dry white wine
- 2 bottles of sparkling wine, cava or prosecco
- 100g sugar
- a bunch of wild woodruff
- 1kg fresh strawberries
- ice cubes, not strictly necessary but it might help on a hot day
Pick a bunch or wild woodruff and leave it to wilt on your kitchen counter overnight.
The following day, wash and cut the strawberries into pretty pieces (quarters or slices). Pour one bottle of wine into a bowl and add the woodruff, sugar and strawberries. Leave to seep in the fridge for an hour. Remove the woodruff after 30 minutes: the flavour can be overpowering and cause headaches…
Before serving, add the rest of the alcohol and ice.
For a lighter version, replace the sparkling wine with sparkling water – it’s absolutely lovely and refreshing!