Just when I thought the gin and raisins cure-all had been forgotten, up pops Paul Plagenz.
He is development director for the Quad-City Symphony Orchestra, and at the last concert, he grabbed my hand, asking, “Aren’t you the guy who wrote about curing aches and pains with gin and raisins?
“I moved here from Columbus, Ohio. That gin and raisin thing you once wrote got me going. It reminded of my grandmother and grandfather back home,” he said. “They always had a toddy before going to bed.”
That set him off on the gin and raisins. He was no weisenheimer, but a serious man who was curious about gin and raisins to cure arthritis.
I’VE WRITTEN about this urban legend at least 101 times, acting like I was Dr. Bill. I’m sick of it. But aching people keep asking for more. Now, I’m going into reasons why that crazy concoction may — just may — have some merit. I have even found statements from that celebrated medicine man, Dr. Oz.
It has gone beyond ancient folk medicine. There is a product on the market in a plastic jug that is called DrunkenRaisins. Its pitch says: “We’re jumbo golden raisins soaked in gin for a ton of hours. Why gin? We think it’s partially because of the juniper berries in it, which is one of the best anti-inflammatory agents out there.”
For flavor, honey and cinnamon is added to the DrunkenRaisins product.
I’ve yet to find a place in the Quad-Cities that stocks DrunkenRaisins.
It all sounds silly; yet, I’ve heard from the faithful, like the Quad-City man who had trouble getting up from his easy chair. But after dining on gin and raisins, he’s now up and bowling.
The recipe for gin and raisins? Here it goes again.
-- Start with a box of golden raisins; they must be the golden variety, sometimes called white raisins, not ordinary black raisins.
-- Spread the raisins in a shallow container, like a glass pie plate. Or, it may work just as well in a metal pie pan.
-- Cover the raisins with cheap gin. The cheaper gin, the better; none of the high-priced stuff.
-- Let the raisins soak in the gin for a few weeks until the gin evaporates. Keep the pan in the fridge or on a cupboard shelf.
-- To store, after the raisins have become bloated with gin, place the whole works in a clear jar and cover with a tight lid.
n Eat nine of the drunken raisins a day to relieve your arthritis. Nine a day is the select number. I can’t understand why, but nine is the number in all the variations I’ve tracked.
IT’S A MYSTERY where where the gin and raisin “cure” began. Paul Harvey, the late radio commentator, once mentioned it on a broadcast. It spread, and now Dr. Oz says gin is flavored with juniper berries and juniper berries contain terpinen, which has anti-inflamatory properties and includes pain-relieving chemicals such as aspirin-like salicylic acid.
Naturally, there’s the story of the guy who couldn’t keep track of the recipe. So, instead of eating the raisins, he drank the gin. He never felt better.
Contact Bill Wundram a 563-383-2249 or firstname.lastname@example.org.