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1295737155

Photo by: The Good Brigade

The Good Brigade

How to Make Benjamin Franklin's Lost Booze Recipe

By: Discovery

To learn more about historic liquors, stream Moonshiners: American Spirit on discovery+.

April 22, 2022

Moonshiners Tim and Howard travel to Philadelphia to investigate Benjamin Franklin's long-lost booze — a spruce beer drunk by the Continental Army — in the third episode of Moonshiners: American Spirit.

With help from Tickle, they recreate the 250-year-old recipe in a way that stays true to the ingredients that would have been available in Philly hundreds of years ago.

Howard and Tim

Howard and Tim

Behind the scenes: Howard and Tim pose with their muskets as they learn about Benjamin Franklin and spruce beer.

Behind the scenes: Howard and Tim pose with their muskets as they learn about Benjamin Franklin and spruce beer.

Benjamin Franklin's Spruce Beer

Servings: Cask of 80 bottles

Step 1

Get one pot of spruce essence and 13 pounds of molasses (or the same amount of unrefined loaf sugar). Mix well together in 20 pints of hot water until it makes a foam.

Step 2

Then, pour it into the cask, fill with water, add a pint of good yeast, and stir it well together.

Step 3

Let it stand 2 or 3 days to ferment, then close the cask.

Step 4

After a few days, it will be ready to be put into tightly corked bottles. Leave them in a cool cellar for 10 to 12 days.

Step 5

The wait will be worth it — now it's good to drink!

MOONSHINERS: AMERICAN SPIRIT

MOONSHINERS: AMERICAN SPIRIT

A look at inside Fort Mifflin where the spruce beer was made for the troops.

A look at inside Fort Mifflin where the spruce beer was made for the troops.

Enjoy a sip of history!

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