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Brew your own alcoholic drinks from supermarket ingredients

Updated on July 21, 2016

Natural ingredients for a truly great taste

Why is Alcohol so expensive?

A few years back I was walking around a supermarket with my son buying supplies ready for a barbeque; Burgers, sausages, charcoal, buns etc. As we came to the alcoholic drinks isle I was disappointed to find a 500ml bottle of alcoholic lemonade for £2 and cider for £1.80. Enjoying an alcoholic drink should not be this expensive, this set me thinking.

In the UK the Value Added Tax (VAT) on alcoholic drinks over 7.5% in strength is a whopping 23.85 pence per litre for each % of alcohol.

One litre of 12% wine will incur a VAT of 12 x 23.85p = £2.86. That’s before we starting giving our money to the producer of the wine. Tax on alcohol may be less in other countries, however substantial savings can still be made as well as the deep satisfaction that you are ‘brewing your own’. It is quite possible to make 1 litre of wine for just over a pound, about a third of the price of the tax alone and a 500ml bottle of alcoholic lemonade for 12 pence.

Alcoholic drinks were discovered by accident!

We have been drinking wine for over 8000 years. The drink has been prominent in most cultures, often associated with religion. Prehistoric people would have gathered berries and stored some in simple vessels. In time some juice left at the bottom of the container would have become alcoholic when the natural yeast on the surface of the berries fermented the sugar from the fruit. An experimental drink of this liquid would have led to an interesting taste and a slightly altered state of mind. In time people settled down from their nomadic existence and grapes and other berries would have been cultivated and the production of wine would have changed from something accidental to a designed and controlled process. It is interesting to note that these early people would not have had the multitude of chemicals that modern wine producers use today. If they could make wine simply then, we can make wine simply now.

Mead is an ancient drink; apparently it was drunk even before man new how to brew! Bee honey, natural yeast, hollowed out trees and sudden intensive rain falls led to naturally occurring mead that was harvested along with the honey 20,000 years ago. There has been a strong tradition of drinking mead ever since which is not surprising as it is simple to make but tastes incredible.

Mead, drink of the gods!
Mead, drink of the gods!

We don’t know what is in supermarket alcoholic drinks!

Many of the drinks on the supermarket shelves are stuffed full of colourings, flavourings and preservatives. Unlike food, the makers don’t even have to list the ingredients. It is in fact easy to use only pure natural ingredients like lemon juice, raisins, sugar, chilli peppers, yeast, ginger and honey. To get started easily in this hobby you don’t need to crawl through hedges harvesting fruit and berries, instead we will use ingredients that are available all year round in the supermarket and free of the natural yeasts and bacteria present on natural ingredients that can spoil a brew.

Getting started isn’t expensive or difficult

Many people are put off this lucrative and fascinating hobby by the high start-up costs and the complexity of the techniques. In fact £13 worth of supplies available from the supermarket will get you going. If the first thing you make is alcoholic lemonade you can virtually recoup this investment in your first batch. The techniques are not difficult when you know how. You don’t need to wait for months for the drinks to be ready, in three weeks your first drinks will be ready.

If you are interested in starting this fascinating and lucrative hobby the ‘Breaking Booze’ ebook available on Amazon will show how to make easy, cheap and delicious red wine, real ginger beer, alcoholic lemonade, mead, cider and other drinks.

Boiling up ginger and chilli for a truly awesome 'Real Ginger Beer'.
Boiling up ginger and chilli for a truly awesome 'Real Ginger Beer'.


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