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Queen Elizabeth's Mead

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Queen Elizabeth's Mead

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Beer Style: Metheglin  (26A)
Recipe Type: other
Yield: 5 US gallons



Queen Elizabeth's own royal recipe for mead has survived to this day, although no brewer in his senses would want to make such a sickley concoction. This is a modern adaptation of Her Majesty's recipe which should prove satisfactory insofar as the herbs are infused in the finished mead. This enables the brewer to exercise much greater control over how much herb flavor is imparted to the drink.

This recipe was preceded by a discussion of how, during Elizabethan times, sweetners, spices, etc., were added to meads and how a range of pyments and metheglins came into existence.


  • 3--1/2 pounds, honey
  • 1/4 teaspoon, acid blend
  • 1 tablespoon, yeast nutrient
  • 1/2 ounce, rosemary
  • 1/2 ounce, bay leaves
  • 1/2 ounce, thyme
  • 1/4 ounce, sweet briar
  • 1 campden tablet
  • 1 package, Madeira yeast
  • 1 gallon, water

Click to Print Recipe


In the primary, dissolve the honey, acid blend, yeast nutrient and yeast in 1 gallon of luke-warm water. Add the campden tablet. Attatch airlock and let sit until ferment is complete (about 3 - 5 weeks). Syphon off sediment into secondary and let sit for 6 months. When wine is 6 months old, rack back into primary. Place herbs in nylon straining bag (securely tied) and place in primary. Taste the wine daily until the flavor extracted from the herbs is satisfactory, then remove the bag of herbs. Mature for at least an additional 6 months, racking every 2 months to aid clearing.