Lady Bellassises' Mead

Introduction

This is based on a recipe attributed to "My Lady Bellassises" by Kenelme Digby in The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digby Kt. Opened: Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wine, &c. Together with Excellent Directions for Cookery: As also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, &c. (1669).


Recipe

For every kilogram of honey (makes about three litres of mead):

1 kg honey
200 g raisins
4 cardamom pods
water
yeast

Mix the honey with four times its volume in water, and bring the mixture to the boil. Skim off the foam that rises to the top.

When no more foam is rising, add 200 grams of raisins for every kilogram of honey and simmer for about half an hour.

Leave the wort to cool until it reaches room temperature, then add the yeast and leave the wort overnight.

Strain the raisins out of the wort, and put the wort into a fermenting tun. Leave it to ferment until done.

Put the mead into bottles. Put one bruised cardomom pod into each bottle. I use 750mL bottles; other sizes might require different numbers of pods. Seal the bottles.

Digby says that the mead may be drank after three or four months.