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"Beer is a sign that God loves us and wants us to be happy." 
     ~ Benjamin Franklin

Griswold Mountain Wine Recipes

Cold Duck Champagne Hard Cider  


Recipe for Cold Duck Champagne   
by Frank Holes, Sr.

January and the New Year is the time for popping a bottle of the ol' bubbly.  Our Cold Duck is easy to make and fantastic for those celebrations through the year.
Recipe for Cold Duck Champagne

A six gallon carboy with airlock & bubbler

3 cans of concentrated, frozen grape juice

14 cups of sugar

1 package of champagne yeast

6 gallons of good water

26 Champagne bottles with corks and wires (not wine bottles!)

Cold Duck Champagne Recipe Directions:

In a large pitcher, dissolve the sugar in lukewarm water.  This make take several pitchers to adequately dissolve all the sugar.  Pour this into the clean, sanitized carboy.  Mix each can of juice with a pitcher of water and also add to the carboy.  

Activate the champagne yeast according to directions on the packet.  We use one cup of warm water and stir well.  Let it stand 5 minutes.

Pour the yeast into the carboy and stir thoroughly.  

Top off the carboy up to the neck.  Add the bubbler.  Ferment in your carboy for three weeks.


After three weeks, clean and sanitize the bottles.  

In a large measuring cup, mix and dissolve one cup of sugar with one cup of warm water.  Add one tablespoon of this mixture to each bottle.  

Siphon your fermented champagne into each of the 26 bottles.  Top off each bottle to half way up the neck, about two inches from the top.  

Cork each bottle with plastic corks using a capper.  Tie each down with wires.  

Bottles will be carbonated in 3 to 5 weeks.  The champagne is very sweet early in its life, much like a wine cooler (the ladies really enjoy it in its early age).  The longer you let the bottles set, the drier it becomes.  It is excellent regardless of its age.  

1.  Follow the recipe exactly.  Too much yeast can make the bottles explode!

2.  Keep the bottles cool.  They can explode if they get too warm.  Serve chilled.

3.  Never point a bottle at anyone when you are opening it.  The contents are under high pressure and may cause injury.  

4.  Do not open bottles indoors, unless you wish to renovate your ceilings.  See #2 above.

5.  Do not shake the bottles.  


Recipe for Hard Cider 
by Frank Holes, Sr.

This is an autumn special around the homestead.  The end of the summer apple harvest means Hard Cider brewing time, just enough time to have it ready for fall get-togethers.
Recipe for Hard Cider

1 cup of warm water (95-98 degrees)

4 cups of white sugar

4 gallons fresh apple cider and/or squeezings

1 package of champagne yeast

24 champagne bottles with corks and wires

Warm the cider to room temperature.  This may take a few hours, so plan ahead.

Dissolve the champagne yeast in one cup of water.  Stir well.  Set aside for five minutes to bloom.

In your fermenting bucket, dissolve the sugar in about 2 quarts of warm water.  Stir well.  Pour in the yeast mixture, and rinse the cup to get out every drop.  Begin adding in the cider and keep stirring to thoroughly mix until all four gallons are incorporated.  Fill up to the five gallon mark with warm water if necessary.

Seal the lid with a bubbler and store at room temperature for 2 to 3 weeks.  It is ok to store wherever you store your homebrews. 

When you're ready to bottle, create a sugar mixture of 1 cup of white sugar dissolved in1 cup boiling water.  Drop one tablespoon of this mixture into each of 24 champagne bottles.  

Bottle in champagne bottles with good plastic corks and twist on wires tightly, as it will be highly carbonated.  Clean up the bottles from any spills.

Bottles are ready to condition for another 2-3 weeks.  Add your own homemade labels and tightly crimp on foils for decorative gifts. 

Remember, as with any yeast product, there will be settlement at the bottom.  When pouring, be sure to leave the bottom half inch.  It is drinkable (I actually like the dregs at the bottom of homebrews), but some people donít prefer to see or drink it. 

  Important rules to remember with highly carbonated fruit beverages:

1.  Keep bottles cold, as warm temperatures can rapidly release gas

2.  Do not shake up the bottles.  If one gets shaken up, immediately put into your fridge for several hours or even days to prevent explosion.

3.  Never open indoors.  Corks at high velocity can break glass and dent drywall.  And a gush of carbonated fruit beverages can make quite a mess.

4.  Never point a bottle at anyone.  Ejected corks can be dangerous.  We've even had corks fly out as soon as the wires were loosened.


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