Probably the first alcoholic beverage ever produced, mead is a honey- and fruit-based drink. You can prepare your own batch of traditional mead at home in just a few days.
- Step 1: Make sure the paper towel is clean and, after two days, transfer the jug to the refrigerator. Leave it in the fridge for 12 to 24 hours, and then funnel the mead into a clean jug, cover it with clean paper toweling, and return it to the fridge.
- Step 2: Wait another 12 to 24 hours, funnel the mead into a clean jug again, and add 1/4 cup vodka or grain alcohol to kill the yeast. Re-cover the jug, and return it to the refrigerator.
- Step 3: Leave the mead in the refrigerator for three to four days before you drink it. It'll improve with age -- but not too much age. Drink your mead within six months to a year.
- FACT: In ancient Babylon, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink for a month after the wedding.
- TIP: Check the jug periodically. If the paper towel becomes soiled by foam, replace it.
- Step 4: Funnel the mixture into the jug the next day. The yeast will have formed a thick foam on the liquid's surface. Add enough liquid to the jug to reach the jug's neck, and then rubber band a folded paper towel over the jug's opening. Leave the jug at room temperature for at least two days.
- Step 5: Crack the cloves and cinnamon, and simmer them with the cardamom and lemon peel in 2 quarts of water until the water becomes infused, about 5 minutes. Then add another quart of water and the honey, stirring constantly. Continue to heat the water to just under boiling while the honey dissolves.
- Step 6: Skim off the white scum that forms on top of the water as the honey dissolves. Continue skimming it until no more rises. Then remove the pot from the heat, cover it, and let it sit overnight.
- TIP: If you don't skim the scum from the top, the yeast will affect the waxes and your mead will taste like turpentine.
- Step 7: Strain the mixture through a fine sieve when it has cooled to room temperature. Then return the mixture to the pot, stir in the yeast, and re-cover the pot. Allow the mixture to sit overnight again while fermentation occurs.
- : Don't drink unless you're of legal age. Drink responsibly, and never drink and drive.