Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines Cordials & Liqueurs 1909 by Helen S. Wright
MEAD - HOPS
The following is a good recipe for mead: On five pounds of honey pour five quarts of boiling water; boil, and remove the scum as it rises; add one-quarter ounce of the best hops, and boil for ten minutes. Then pour the liquor into a tub to cool; when all but cold add a little yeast spread upon a slice of toasted bread. Let it stand in a warm room. When fermentation is finished, bung it down, leaving a peg-hole which can afterwards be closed, and in less than a year it will be fit to bottle.
SMALL WHITE MEAD
Take three gallons of spring water, make it hot, and dissolve in it three quarts of honey, and one pound of loaf sugar. Let it boil about one-half hour, and skim it as long as any scum rises. Then pour it out into a tub, and squeeze in the juice of four lemons, put in the rinds but of two. Twenty cloves, two races of ginger, one top of sweet briar, and one top of rosemary. Let it stand in a tub till it is but blood-warm; then make a brown toast, and spread it with two or three spoonfuls of ale yeast. Put it into a vessel fit for it, let it stand four or five days, then bottle it out.
Take of spring water what quantity you please, make it more than blood-warm, and dissolve honey in it until it is strong enough to bear an egg, the breadth of a shilling; then boil it gently, near an hour, taking off the scum as it rises. Then put to nine or ten gallons seven or eight large blades of mace, three nutmegs quartered, twenty cloves, three or four sticks of cinnamon, two or three roots of ginger, and one-quarter ounce of Jamaica pepper; put these spices into the kettle to the honey and water, a whole lemon, with a sprig of sweet briar, and a sprig of rosemary. Tie the briar and rosemary together, and when they have boiled a little while, take them out and throw them away; but let your liquor stand on the spice in a clear earthen pot till the next day. Then strain it into a vessel that is fit for it, put the spice in a bag, hang it in the vessel, stop it, and at three months draw it into bottles. Be sure that it is fine when it is bottled. After it is bottled six weeks it is fit to drink.
MEAD, METHEGLIN, OR HONEY WINE
Boil honey in water for an hour; the proportion is from three to four pounds to each gallon. Half an ounce of hops will both refine and preserve it, but is not commonly added. Skim carefully, draining the skimmings through a hair sieve, and return what runs through. When of a proper coolness, stir in yeast; one teacupful of solid yeast will serve for nine gallons. Tun it, and let it work over, filling it up till the fermentation subsides. Paste over brown paper and watch it. Rich mead will keep seven years, and afford a brisk, nourishing, and pleasant drink. Some people like to add the thinly shaved rind of a lemon to each gallon while boiling, and put the fruit, free from pith, into the tub. Others flavor it with spices and sweet herbs, and mix it with new beer or sweet wort; it is then called Welsh Braggart.
Old-Time Recipes for Home Made Wines is a cookbook for those who want to make their own wines & liqueurs from available ingredients, including fruits, flowers, vegetables, & shrubs from local gardens, farms, & orchards. It includes ingredients & instructions for making & fermenting spirits, from wine & ale to sherry, brandy, cordials, & even beer.
Colonial Era Cookbooks
1615, New Booke of Cookerie, John Murrell (London)
1798, American Cookery, Amelia Simmons (Hartford, CT)
1803, Frugal Housewife, Susannah Carter (New York, NY)
1807, A New System of Domestic Cookery, Maria Eliza Rundell (Boston, MA)
1808, New England Cookery, Lucy Emerson (Montpelier, VT)
Helpful Secondary Sources
America's Founding Food: The Story of New England Cooking/Keith Stavely and Kathleen Fitzgerald Chapel Hill : University of North Carolina Press, 2004.
Colonial Kitchens, Their Furnishings, and Their Gardens/Frances Phipps Hawthorn; 1972
Early American Beverages/John Hull Brown Rutland, Vt., C. E. Tuttle Co 1996
Early American Herb Recipes/Alice Cooke Brown ABC-CLIO Westport, United States
Food in Colonial and Federal America/Sandra L. Oliver
Home Life in Colonial Days/Alice Morse Earle (Chapter VII: Meat and Drink) New York : Macmillan Co., ©1926.
A Revolution in Eating: How the Quest for Food Shaped America/James E. McWilliams New York : Columbia University Press, 2005.