Sunday, February 28, 2010

Traces of Prohibition

I found this black piece of sea glass right here on the shore in Sorrento. Black sea glass is relatively rare, but was used extensively in the days of rum-running, to hold liquor transported by boats from Prince Edward Island, the first province in Canada to have the Prohibition Act in 1901.

To illustrate the color of this rare black glass, here it is next to the more commonly found beer bottle glass. If you were to hold the rare black glass up to a light source, it will actually look dark green or amber in color though.

Tonight, I'm having a little fun displaying this piece of black sea glass near my newly purchased cordial glasses.

I'm having fun because my good friend Diane just gave me a recipe for making Raspberry Cordial. It calls for a 5th of vodka (100 proof is best), a pint of raspberries and 2 cups of sugar.

Here's the bottle I plan to keep the finished product in. I think the ceramic stopper and contrasting gasket will go nicely with the vibrant color of the cordial.

The recipe says to just add the raspberries to a 3 quart loosely covered container.

Pour in the sugar and the 100 proof vodka.

Stir, cover and place in a cool dark place. Every week for the next 2 months, open the jar and stir the cordial. Strain the finished cordial through a very fine sieve and decant into a lovely bottle. Here's a link to some more information on making this raspberry cordial.

Interestingly enough, our town Sorrento was founded by the famous Portsmouth, NH brewer, Frank Jones. After he died, in 1902, an active member of the Women's Christian Temperance Union, acquired his grand cottage and had it torn down, so there would be no trace left of this "King of the Alemakers." Someday, I hope to find a piece of sea glass that was once part of a bottle of Frank Jones Ale. But until then I have to wonder, if indeed, there may be no trace of him left.


Linda B said...

I picked you up from Jo's blog.
That quilt top was so easy. Everything was already cut. I'm not a pro, by any means, but this one just made itself!!!

Tracey said...

Ooooooo sounds yummy! Great photos too!!

Love the black sea glass!

:) T

Low Tide High Style said...

I've never seen black sea glass, how very cool and what a neat story about how they used the dark bottles during prohibition! And I love your little cordial glasses. I have some and don't think we've ever used them! Maybe I'll try your recipe sometime and finally put them to good use. I love the vintage bottle you plan to store the finished nectar in too!

Kat :)

Ange said...

Lili what a great find! I'm sure you will be lucky enough to find a relic one day from one of the 'king's' bottles. In the mean time, I will ask MiL for the recipe for the rosehip syrup as it is really good for your health as well as being yummy. Wonder if we can say that about vodka raspberry cordial ;-)

Sandy, Sisters of Season said...

Neat story about the black sea glass, raspberry cordial looks tasty too! Lili, I enjoy visiting your blog, there is always something to learn.
Have a good afternoon!

Mermaid's Purse said...

Hey're having a lot of fun with that piece of sea glass. I am quite enchanted with my black sea glass too. Now the Raspberry Cordial...I don't have any of that going on! When it's done I think we all should party. Sounds yumalicious.:) Later.
Fair Winds and Calm Seas,
Deborah Leon

Maya @ Completely Coastal said...

Oh my, the drink sounds delicious..., and I love the black sea glass.

BP said...

Very cool black sea glass. Just goes to show that prohibition leads to crime, not vice-versa, hehe. I've been thinking about making some, coffee liquer, now I'll have to do it!

Carol Bass @ A Bird in Hand said...

So, so interesting! I must try it. Also, I notice your glass tray. Is it part of a set with a little cup/mug (the name of these sets is escaping me right now). Picnic sets? I don't think that is right....anyway, I have 4 of the same. One little mug is missing though. So sweet!