Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water and frequently fruits, spices, and grains. The earliest archaeological evidence for the production of mead dates to around 2000 BC. It is often referred to as the drink of the gods. This recipe uses honey, fruit juices, cinnamon, and wine yeast. I usually start my mead in time to enjoy it during our Yule celebrations. You haven't lived until you've tossed a bit of mead from a drinking horn onto a burning Yule Log!
1Gather and sanitize all the items listed in the "Things You'll Need" list with a weak bleach solution (remember to rinse well) or a sanitizing solution that can be found at any beer or wine-making store or online.
2Bring to a boil 1 part honey, 2 parts water, 1 part white grape juice with the cinnamon sticks. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
3In a separate saucepan heat remaining white grape juice. Heat to 100 degrees F. Add yeast and allow to activate.
4When the honey mixture is cooled to 100 degrees F., pour both mixtures into the carboy leaving room for fermentation to occur. Install the airlock.
5Put in a quiet place at an optimal temperature range for the yeast. This information should be published by the manufacturer.
6Allow to ferment until the yeast is spent. This could take about 2 to 3 months, or 3 weeks after it stops bubbling.
7Once the fermentation has completed, transfer your mead to a container with little to no headspace for aging. The less surface area that oxygen can get to, the better. Siphoning is the best way to go so that you leave as much sediment behind as possible. The longer you wait, the better your mead will be, an average aging time is 8 months to a year.
8Transfer the mead into bottles, seal, and store in a cool dark place. Your mead is now drinkable, but it is even better when aged even longer.