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Medieval Medicinal Meads


Registered Member
Dec 9, 2006
Portland, OR, USA
These recipes range in date from the mid 1600s to the mid 1700s and were found in a variety of medical texts. :icon_study:
The text presented here represents the recipes as they were recorded. Anything assumed by the original authors will be missing. :icon_study:
Nomenclature and spelling has not been altered. I have made no attempt to change historic names of ingredients to their modern equivalents. :icon_study:
The recipes are included here for reasons of historical interest and to assist in mead research. Attempts to reproduce the meads described by these recipes for the purpose of consumption is entirely at your own risk. :icon_study:

Recipe 1: Take water six Gallons, Honey one Gallon; mix them well together, and boil for one hour, taking off the brown scum only, but stirring the white scum in it: let it stand till it is less than blood warm. Take a crust of brown Bread well toasted on both sides, which spread all over with new yest, strewing a little Flower upon it; put it into your liquor and turn a wooden dish or bowl upon it; let it work a day or two.

Recipe 2: Take 12 Gallons of Water, six whites of Eggs which mix well therewith: Honey 20 pounds; boil it an hour; and when boiled, add Cinamon, Cloves, Ginger, Mace, Rosemary: When cold, put to it a spoonful of yest, and Tun it up, keeping it filled up as it works; when it has done working, stop it up close; and when fine, Bottle it up.

Recipe 3: Take Virgin Honey, or the Best Honey, pure fair Water only so much, that when the Honey is perfectly dissolved in it, an Egg will not sink to the bottom, but easily swim up and down in it; boil for an hour or more, and by that time the egg will swim above the liquor; then let it cool. The next Morning barrel it up, adding to the proportion of 15 Gallons, Ginger an ounce, Cinnamon half an ounce, Cloves and Mace, of each an ounce, all of them grosly beaten (for if they be fine, they will alays float in the Mead, and make it foul.) Put the Spices in when cold, adding also a spoonful of yest at the Bung-hole to increase the Fermentation, not letting it stand too cold at first, till the working is as it were over, after which stop it up close; and after a Month or two (the longer the better) bottle it. By the floating of the Egg you may judge of its strength, and you may make it more Honey or more Water.

Recipe 4: Take fair water 60 Gallons, Bay-leaves, Bawm, Hops, Ginger, Orrioe Roots bruised, Savory, Thyme, of each half a pound; let them scald in the liquor in a simmering heat, (but not to boil) for 2 hours: clear the liquor from the Ingredients, and to every three Gallons put one Gallon of Honey, boil them (but not too fast) scumming it very clean, so long as any will arise, especially the latteral Black Scum; cool the liquor, and put it into a Tub, where let it stand for some 2 days; put to it a Quart of good New Ale yest, stir them together, and let them rest a day or two to Work: Fleet off the yest, and stir it again, letting it rest another day: Scum off the yest again, and cover up the cask slightly; as it works over, fill it up with thee same again; and when it has done working, stop it up close, but have a Vent hole by the Bung, to give it Vent sometimes. Some clarify the Water and Honey when boil'd, with Whites of Eggs, Shells and all beaten together, the strain out and cool; and afterwards work it up, (to every two Gallons) with Whites of two Eggs, two spoonfulls of yest, beat all together, stirring it every hour; and the next day they add the Whites of four Eggs, and two spoonfulls of Wheat-Meal, beaten together, and so Tun it up, hanging it in a Bag, a little Cinnamon, Cloves, and Ginger bruised, which when it has done working, they stop close up.

Recipe 5: Take twelve gallons of water, eight pounds of sugar, two quarts of honey, and a few cloves, when your pan boils take the whites of eight to ten eggs, beat them very well, put them into your water before it be hot, and whisk them very well together; do not let it boil but skim it as it rises till it has done rising, then put it in your tub; when it is about blood warm put to it three spoonfuls of new yeast; take eight or nine lemons, pare them and squeeze out the juice, put them both together into your tub, and let them work two or three days, then put it into your barrel, but it must not be too full; take two or three pennyworth of isinglass, cut it as small as you can, beat it in a mortar about a quarter of an hour, it will not make it small; but that it may dissolve sooner, draw out a little of the mead into a quart mug, and let it stand within the air of the fire all night; take the whites of three eggs, beat them very well, mix them with your isinglass, whisk them together, and put them into your barrel, bung it up, and when it is fine bottle it.

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