Mead is a beverage with an alcohol content between 4-20% using a variety of yeasts and with a taste that some describe as “wine with a kick’ but can also have a taste like beer or one all of its own. It is made by fermenting honey with water but the type of yeast, amount of aging, and addition of spices, grains, fruits and other additives may vary. The production of the drink goes back to 7000 BC in China and was the favorite drink of the Ancient Greeks. There are several different kinds of mead including sweet, semi-sweet and dry meads. My paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright, included several recipes for mead in her book Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wine.
Here is the recipe for small white mead in the words of my grandmother:
Take three gallons of spring water, make it hot, and dissolve in it three quarts of honey, and one pound of loaf sugar. Let it boil about one-half hour, and skim it as long as any scum rises. Then pour it out into a tub, and squeeze in the juice of four lemons, put in the rinds but of two. Twenty cloves, two races of ginger, one top of sweet briar, and one top of rosemary. Let it stnd in a tub till it is but blood-warm; then make a brown toast, and spread it with two or three spoonfuls of ale yeast. Put it into a vessel fit for it, let it stand four or five days, then bottle it out.
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