The following is from a very VERY old site I used to have, Celtic Voice, not up anymore. It shows 2 of my recipes for the alcoholic beverage known as mead, or honey wine. I am sure those in the SCA will remember some of this.
Mead Recipes for your Enjoyment
A fermented drink made of water and honey; mead. [<W. meddyglyn <meddyg, doctor, + llyn, liquor] New Practical Standard Dictionary, ©1956
A liquor of fermented honey and water to which malt, yeast, and spices are added; metheglin. See HYDROMEL New Practical Standard Dictionary, ©1956
A liquor, usually unfermented, consisting of honey diluted with water; when fermented, it is called mead. [<L. <Gr. hydor, water, + meli, honey]New Practical Standard Dictionary, ©1956
Some poets referred to Mead as the drink of the gods and yet others called it the Water of Life, (not to be confused with Scotch). It was and still is a refreshing drink that is easily made.Included on this page are some recipes from an out of copy source that I am make available here for your enjoyment and taste. Keep in mind that these were written in or before 1901 so the wording may be a little strange.
How to make Mead or Honey Wine
Take 10 gallons of water and 2 gallons of strained honey, with two or three ounces of bruised white Jamaica ginger root, and 2 lemons cut in slices. Mix all together and boil for half an hour, carefully skimming all the time. Add 2 ounces of hops five minutes after the boiling commences. When partially cool put in a cask to ferment. In about three weeks it will be ready to bottle.
How to make Mead
Take 12 gallons water. 20 pounds honey. 6 eggs, the glair only
Let it boil 1 hour; then add cinnamon, ginger, clove, mace and a little rosemary. When cold, add one spoonful of yeast, from the brewer; stir it well, and in 24 hours it will be good.
Sassifras Mead, a cheap beverage
Stir gradually with 1 quart boiling water, 1½ pounds brown sugar, 3 gills molasses, and 1 drachm tartaric acid. Stir it well, and when cold strain it into a large earthen pan or crock; then mix in 1 drachm essence of sassafras. Transfer it to clean bottles, (it will fill 2 or 3;) cork it tightly, and keep it in a cool place. Have ready a box containing about ¼ pound carbonate of soda, to use with it.
To prepare a glass of it for drinking, pour a little of the mead or syrup into a tumbler; stir into it a small quantity of soda, and then add sufficient cold fresh water (ice-water, if you have it) to half fill the glass; give it a stir, and it will immediately foam up to the top.
Ronan’s Meads and Wines
Earl Grey Mead 3/21/95 : Exceptional – Fool’s War VII
10 Earl Grey tea bags.
2 lbs. raw honey
1 1/3 cup sugar
2 pinches savory
2 pinches savory
2 pinches rosemary
1 pinch thyme
1 pinch of bread yeast
1 leaf grey desert sage
water to fill
2 pinches citric acid
a bit of dregs for a starter
Place all ingredients in a Dutch oven to boil. Add two egg whites to collect scum. Boil for an hour, pulling scum off often. Let cool. Place in bottles for fermentation. Over the course of the fermentation process, add sugar occasionally to speed up fermentation. Once fermentation stops, cap tightly and age.
Earl Grey Mead 9/17/94 : 1st – The Feast of the Mad Jailer
24 oz pear juice, unstrained
2 lb honey
2 lb sugar
100 oz water (about)
10 bags of Earl Gray Tea
1/4 teaspoons of bread yeast
1 egg white
Boil honey, water and tea for 1 hour. Near the end add a little cinnamon, ginger, clove, rosemary and the egg white. Remove from heat and let stand till warm as removing the scum. Now add the yeast, dissolved in warm water. This brew can be drank in as little as 48 hours, but will be extremely raw.
After a week’s time, add 1 lb of sugar and let ferment. After about 2 weeks more, add the rest of the sugar. This will strengthen it and give a better flavor and keep the mead from “drying out”.
For fining the wine, take the shell of an egg that has been dried and powder it with a pinch of salt. Take this and add it to the white of one egg and some wine from your vat and gently stir all back into the brew. Let set for about 2 to 4 days and then filtered and then bottle the wine. This is a nice natural way without the use of chemicals.
May the road ever rise to meet you!