Recipes to produce the drink of the gods
Mead is believed to be the oldest known alcoholic beverage” and that “The earliest archaeological evidence of honey wine comes from 9000 BC in northern China.” Whilst researching my previous work on heather honey, Professor William (Bill) Sutherland reinforced a view extolled by the late Dr Oliver Rackham (former research fellow at the Botany Department, Cambridge) that man’s liking for a honey-based beverage may so easily have arisen through early mankind (as a hunter-gatherer) finding discarded honeycomb from marauding bears lying on saucer-type leaves on the jungle floor. Regular rainfall combined with the naturally high temperature turned the vestiges of honey into a fermented liquid that he readily imbibed: the liquid to his liking was probably sought. Such a theory, albeit not legend, can be taken uncritically as more than feasible. The increased interest in honeybees by the general public has seen a renaissance in Mead and Honey Wine production. The book is a manual of all aspects of mead making from the ingredients used; methods and practices; mead and honey wine production problems; bottling and cellar craft; requirements for producing meads and honey wines; recipes for meads, honey wines and honey based vinegar; kegging systems; floral and honey varietals; exhibition and judging of mead and honey wines; historical with various appendices.
A really good overview of mead making for all who wish to turn the golden nectar into drink. Harry Riches, a Past President of The British Beekeepers Association, has won numerous prices for his mead and until recently when he moved to North Devon has been in great demand as a judge throughout the South of England.
Fermented honey drinks are among the oldest alcoholic brews in the world, but have now almost disappeared. This booklet contains a unique range of information drawn from the author’s historical study and experimentation with difference ingredients and recipes. Traditional British Honey Drinks gives details of a wide range of honey-based alcoholic drinks, with tried-and-tested recipes for two dozen different brews. In fact, all the information needed to experiment and sustain the long history of honey brews.
Bechbretha ‘bee-judgements’ provides a detailed account of early Irish law relating to bee-keeping, and covers such tropics as ownership of swarms, theft of bee-hives, and neighbours’ entitlements to honey from a beekeeper. The author also refers to the law-case which resulted from the blinding by a bee-sting of the eye of the Ulster king Congal Caech (637). On linguistic and historical grounds, the editors date this remarkably well –preserved text to the seventh century AD.
This volume includes a description of the manuscripts, linguistic and legal introductions, an account of early Irish bee-keeping, a restored text with translation, and textural notes. The appendixes contain other Irish legal texts relating to bee-keeping, as well as Medieval Welsh legal material on this topic.
It was in the days, about fifteen years ago, when amateur wine making was at it’s height, that Clara Furness penned these pages. A long series of articles appeared in the British Bee Journal, and many Beekeepers’ and Winemakers’ Associations in the South will remember her demonstrations and talks.A handbook which encourages all beekeepers to see mead making as a natural consequence of keeping bees.