This little survivor is a perennial here in Florida. Its thick, fleshy leaves allow it to store moisture during periods of irregular rainfall. It quickly, probably yearly, sends up offsets via shoots from the roots. Zebra aloe is a short little plant that will send up large showy pink flowers on a somewhat alien-like stalk that looks very little like the plant itself.
These little aloes hybridize easily with one another, making them very difficult to concretely identify.
To harvest the edible part of the aloe, first break off a leaf, then cut the skin off very carefully. Take the meat and drop into a smoothie (aloe is eaten raw to maximize the anti-inflammatory properties. I suspect that eaten in large quantities aloe might cause diarrhea, so please be mindful, particularly if giving to your animals, who might not like it anyway.
The sap can be squeezed from the leaves and used as a soap. I have also used the sap in very small amounts for sunburn relief, and it works just as well as the store bought stuff. It might be even better because it has no coloring or additives.
I was able to find a very interesting looking recipe for aloe wine, but was unable to locate the original article the recipe was sourced from... here's the recipe. It looks like it would probably make about a gallon of wine.
It’s made with 5 stalks of aloe vera, 2 pounds of granulated sugar, 1/2 cup of raisins, 8 cups of water, 1 teaspoon of yeast, and the juice of one orange. Peel the aloe and cut it into cubes and add it to a container with the raisins, orange, and sugar. Next, boil the water and pour over the aloe vera mixture. Then, dissolve the yeast in luke warm water and pour the yeast into the cooled aloe vera mixture. Cover and let it remain for 21 days, stirring occasionally. Strain and put the wine into a sterilized bottle.Aloe Vera Wine Recipe