Mead Anyone?

Since our week of false spring, with highs in the 70s, is over and winter has returned to the Carolinas for the MLK holiday weekend, and with another shot of cold air due on Tuesday (with highs in the low 40s), I thought this would be a fun post.

In keeping with the recipes posted earlier in my blog for my colonial American novel, The Seahawk’s Sanctuary, I have tried to find medieval recipes that would appeal to modern tastes for my newly released novel, The Lion’s Lair.  As you can imagine, these are difficult to find and the medieval idea of acceptable food preparation practices would probably send most of us running to the ER with food poisoning.  One such example is skinning a peacock – while keeping the feathers attached to the skin and intact – stuffing and cooking the meat (probably by boiling) – then putting the cooked carcass back into the raw skin and feathers for presentation.  And while eel pie may sound yummy to some… I think I’ll pass.

In The Lion’s Lair, my main female character, Katriona, is partial to mead, so when I ran across these relatively easy recipes for mead, I thought they would be a perfect way to make a connection with the medieval time period.  Or I believe there are some specialty alcoholic beverage stores that carry mead.

So, for the adventurous, here we go –


4  pounds   Raisins                        1   Lemon
1/4  ounce  Nutmeg                      1  quart  Honey
1/2  ounce  Cinnamon                  2 1/2 gallons  distilled Water
1/2  cup   Rose Water

Put raisins through a food chopper.  Add the ground spices and lemon, cut in small pieces.  Stir in water and honey, cover, and let stand four days, stirring each day.  Syphon off the clear liquid, add rose water, and store in jars or bottles.  Leave caps slightly loose.

Rose Water

Make your own, or go to Amazon and buy a bottle.

Make certain the rose petals have not been sprayed with any chemicals.

Yield: 2 cups
Active Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 1 1/2 hours


1 packed cup of rose petals, rinsed
2 cups distilled boiling water

Place rose petals in bowl with a lid. Pour boiling water over the petals. Cover with lid and let the petals steep until it has reached room temperature.

Strain off the rose water. Place rose water in a glass jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a month.


METHAGLIN  (A Traditional Mead)

1   quart   Honey                           1/2  ounce   Ginger
6  quarts  Water                           1  1/8  tsp.   Rapid-rise Yeast
Lemon,  Cinnamon stick,  Raisins

Mix the honey and water, and ginger, and boil until the amount is reduced by a third.  When cooled, put in a jar together with the yeast, which has been dissolved in a little water.  Let stand three days.  Syphon it off and place in jars or bottles. Put in each a small piece of lemon, a small piece of cinnamon stick, and two or three raisins.  Leave caps slightly loose and wait a fortnight (2 weeks) before drinking.