When the first rays of spring sunshine give the world a new splendour and bathe the woods in a delicate green, it is also time to savour a regional speciality: Maitrank. This woodruff-based alcoholic drink is very easy to make yourself and is a real pleasure.

The Maitrank (literally: May drink) is an alcoholic beverage based on woodruff. It has its origins in the region around the Belgian city of Arlon, close to the Luxembourgish border, where festivals are organised to its honour. The Western part of Luxembourg also belongs to this region: Until 1839, Arlon was part of the (Grand) Duchy of Luxembourg, as was the rest of the Belgian province of Luxembourg. That's why we don't miss the opportunity to present you this simple, yet pleasant recipe.

You just need to embark on the discovery of Luxembourg's woods. If you find woodruff, you will literally have the main ingredient in your pocket.

Ingredients:

  • 6 litres of white wine (Elbling, Auxerrois, Rivaner, Riesling - your choice)
  • 750g untreated oranges
  • 2.5 untreated lemons
  • 525g fine sugar
  • 27ml Cognac
  • 50ml white Portwine
  • 40g woodruff; make sure you only pick plants which haven't yet bloomed.
Woodruff, called Meekraidchen (lit.: May spice) in Luxembourgish, grows in the shadows of the forests.
© SIP / SK

Preparation:

  1. Carefully wash the woodruff to get rid of any impurities.
  2. Cut the organges and lemons into slices.
  3. Mix all of the ingredients in a large, hermetically-sealing container.
  4. Let this mixture macerate for 36 to 48 hours, according to taste. A longer maceration will make the woodruff-taste stronger.
  5. Filter the liquid, e.g. through a kitchen towel.

Serve chilled in a glass with a slice of orange. Alternatively, you can also add some Crémant.

Maitrank can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

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