My dad once went to the ideal home exhibition. He was asked by a man flogging German wines if he was interested in wine . "Oh yes! " The man plied him with lots of samples. Finally Dad mentioned he made some pretty good elderberry at home . The seller didn't show much interest after that.
I remember my dad making marrow rum which seemed to consist of a large marrow (and yeast I think) fermenting and bubbling away in the pantry. On New Year's Eve in that part of the country it was the custom to visit neighbours' houses 'first footing'. Food and drink was available at most of the houses for such visitors.
That particular New Year's Eve visitors were offered a shot of this marrow rum. Several became the worse for wear quite soon afterwards but legend goes that one guest left the house and was not seen till the following day . He was found in a hedge after a particularly snowy and frosty night on the morning of New Year's Day with no memory of how he got there! I'm guessing he was actually quite lucky to have survived. Dad never made marrow rum again!
The only story I have is the the about the time "Ginger Beer" making was becoming popular, can't remember how it was done, but it was very nice, however, my one and only attempt ended up all over the airing cupboard, it was necessary to keep it warm during processing, and unfortunately, ours became a little too warm!
We made wine = blackberry champagne or peach wine in the 1970's. Both tasted like a spatlese; and yes, they had higher alcohol content.
A demi- john of a plum wine became too dry for our palates, so we bought and peeled lots of small onions, added pickling spice then our dry (pink)plum wine into a tall, old fashioned sweet bottle: We left the wine till the following summer; the onions were crisp and moreish.
We grew a giant blackberries at the bottom of our garden; I can't remember the botanical name unfortunately. They were lush. The first year we made sufficient to fill two demi johns. We stored them in our bedroom on the floor.
Months later DH commented on the odd colour of the walls and ceiling. We looked curiously around, then noticed the up turned light. It held a dark pink liquid. We rushed upstairs to find the water traps had been ejected by pressure, allowing the sticky wine to trickle its way through a gap in the floorboards, downwards onto the light fitting downstairs, down it trickled downwards, onto the light cable and finally into the upturned light shade.
We made parsnip wine which was robust and very alcoholic. We served it on Guy Fawkes night in 'pony' glasses. They're probably called shot glasses now.
In 1976 DH and the Managing Director took turns to oversee the factory; three days on duty, four off, during a hot summer. We sat on a hot, Sussex pebbly beach while staying at my mother's flat. She was away, holidaying for six months in Brisbane. I'll never forget that summer; our elder son learnt to swim and snorkel .
Looking back, we stopped our DIY wine production when our sons became teenagers. We either bought wines from a supermarket then later from Peroth. We were both working and didn't have time to make alcoholic wine, beer or a fruit champagne.
Any anecdotes or expertise you care to share on the above topic?