Although mead is not considered a wine it is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with possible additions of fruit, spices. grains or hops. It dates back to 7000 BC in northern China but is also been found in Europe and Africa. My paternal grandmother, Helen S. Wright included 4 recipes for mead in her book Old Time Recipes for Home Made Wines puablished in 1909. This one has one fruit and more spices than the others but does not contain grains or hops. Grandmother did not include and comments with the recipe so there is no way of knowing exactly what she meant by calling it “strong mead” but a hint may be given when she describes the amount of honey to use..
Here is the recipe for strong mead in the words of my grandmother:
Take of spring water what quanatity you please, make it more than blood-warm, and dissolve honey in it until it is strong enough to bear an egg, the breadth of a shilling; then boil it gently, near an hour, taking off the scum as it rises. Then put to nine or ten gallons seven or eight large blades of mace, three nutmegs quartered, twenty cloves, three or four sticks of cinnamon, two or three roots of ginger, and one-quarter ounce of Jamaica pepper; put these spices into the kettle to the honey and water, a whole lemon, with a sprig of sweet briar, and a sprig of rosemary. Tie the briar and rosemary together, and when they have boiled a little while, take them out and throw them away; but let your liquor stand on the spice in a clear earthen pot till the next day. Then strain it into a vessel that is fit for it, put the spice in a bag, hang it in the vessel, stop it, and at three months draw it into bottles. Be sure that it is fine when it is bottled. After it is bottled six weeks it is fit; to drink.
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