SACK WITH CLOVE-GILLY FLOWERS
If you will make a Cordial Liquor of Sack with Clove-gilly-flowers, you must do thus. Prepare your Gilly-flowers, as is said before, and put them into great double glass-bottles, that hold two gallons a piece, or more; and put to every gallon of Sack, a good half pound of the wiped and cut flowers, putting in the flowers first, and then the Sack upon them. Stop the glasses exceeding close, and set them in a temperate Cellar.
Let them stand so, till you see that the Sack hath drawn out all the principal tincture from them, and that the flowers begin to look palish; (with an eye of pale, or faint in Colour) Then pour the Sack from them, and throw away the exhausted flowers, or distil a spirit from them; For if you let them remain longer in the Sack, they will give an earthy tast to them. You may then put the tincted Sack into fit bottles for your use, stopping them very close. But if the season of the flowers be not yet past, your Sack will be better, if you put it upon new flowers, which I conceive will not be the worse, but peradventure the better, if they be a little dried in the shade. If you drink a Glass or two of this sack at a meal, you will find it a great Cordial.
Upon better consideration; I conceive the best way of making Hydromel with Clove-gilly-flowers, is thus: Boil your simple Liquor to its full height (with three parts of water to one of Honey), take a small parcel out, to make a strong infusion of flowers, pouring it boyling hot upon the flowers in earthen vessels. If you have great quantity, as six to one, of Liquor, you will easily draw out the tincture in fourteen or sixteen hours infusion; otherwise you may quicken your liquor with a parcel of Sack. In the mean time make the great quantity of Liquor work with yest. When it hath almost done fermenting, but not quite, put the infusion to it warm, and let it ferment more if it will. When that is almost done, put to it a bag with flowers to hang in the bung.
I conceive that Hydromel made with Juniper-berries (first broken and bruised) boiled in it, is very good. Adde also to it Rosemary and Bay-leaves.
Upon tryal of several ways, I conclude (as things yet appear to me) that to keep Meath long, it must not be fermented with yest (unless you put Hops to it) but put it in the barrel, and let it ferment of it self, keeping a thick plate of lead upon the bung, to lie close upon it, yet so that the working of the Liquor may raise it, to purge out the foulness, and have always some new made plain Liquor, to fill it up as it sinks, warm whiles it works: but cold during three or four month’s after. Then stop the bung exceeding close.
And when you will make your Mead with Cherries or Morello-Cherries, or Raspes, or Bilberries, or Black-cherries, put their juyce to the Liquor when you tun it, without ever boiling it therein; about one quart of juyce to every three or four gallons of Liquor. You may squeese out the clear juyce, and mingle it with the Liquor, and hang the Magma in a bag in the bung. I think it is best to break the stones of the Cherries, before you put their Magma into the bag.
Since I conceive, that Clove-gilly-flowers must never be boiled in the Liquor: that evaporateth their Spirits, which are very volatile: But make a strong infusion of them, and besides hang a Bag of them in the bung. I conceive that it is good to make the Liquor pretty strong (not too much, but so as the taste may be gratefull) of some strong herbs, as Rosemary, Bay-leaves, Sweet-marjoram, Thyme, Broad-thyme, and the like.
For they preserve the drink, and make it better for the stomack and head. Standing in the Sun is the best way of Fermentation, when the drink is strong. The root of Angelica or Elecampane, or Eringo, or Orris, may be good and pleasant, to be boiled in the Liquor. Raspes and Cherries and Bilberies are never to be boiled, but their juyce put into the Liquor, when it is tunning. Use onely Morello-Cherries (I think) for pleasure, and black ones for health. I conceive it best to use very little spice of any kind in Meathes.
METHEGLIN COMPOSED BY MY SELF OUT OF SUNDRY RECEIPTS
In sixty Gallons of water, boil ten handfuls of Sweet-bryar-leaves; Eye-bright, Liverwort, Agrimony, Scabious, Balme, Wood-bettony, Strawberry-leaves, Burnet, of each four handfuls; of Rosemary, three handfuls; of Minth, Angelica, Bayes and Wild-thyme, Sweet-Marjoram, of each two handfuls: Six Eringo-roots. When the water hath taken out the vertue of the herbs and roots, let it settle, and the next day pour off the clear, and in every three Gallons of it boil one of honey, scumming it well, and putting in a little cold water now and then to make the scum rise, as also some whites of Eggs. When it is clear scummed, take it off, and let it cool; then work it with Ale-yest; tun it up, and hang it in a bag, with Ginger, Cinamom, Cloves and Cardamom. And as it worketh over, put in some strong honey-drink warmed. When it works no more, stop it up close.
In twenty Gallons of water boil Sweet-bryar-leaves, Eye-bright, Rosemary, Bayes, Clove-gilly-flowers of each five handfuls, and four Eringo-roots. To every two gallons and a half of this decoction, put one gallon of honey; boil it, &c. When it is tunned up, hang in it a bag containing five handfuls of Clove-gilly-flowers, and sufficient quantity of the spices above.
In both these Receipts, the quantity of the herbs is too great. The strong herbs preserve the drink, and make it nobler. Use Marjoram and Thyme in little quantity in all.
MY LADY COWERS WHITE MEATHE USED AT SALISBURY
Take to four Gallons of water, one Gallon of Virgin-honey; let the water be warm before you put in the honey; and then put in the whites of 3 or 4 Eggs well beaten, to make the scum rise. When the honey is throughly melted and ready to boil, put in an Egge with the shell softly; and when the Egge riseth above the water, to the bigness of a groat in sight, it is strong enough of the honey. The Egge will quickly be hard, and so will not rise; Therefore you must put in another, if the first do not rise to your sight; you must put in more water and honey proportionable to the first, because of wasting away in the boiling. It must boil near an hour.
You may, if you please, boil in it, a little bundle of Rosemary, Sweet-marjoram, and Thyme; and when it tasteth to your liking, take it forth again. Many do put Sweet-bryar berries in it, which is held very good. When your Meath is boiled enough take it off the fire, and put it into a Kiver; when it is blood-warm, put in some Ale-barm, to make it work, and cover it close with a blancket in the working. The next morning tun it up, and if you please put in a bag with a little Ginger and a little Nutmeg bruised; and when it hath done working, stop it up close for a Moneth, and then Bottle it.
SIR THOMAS GOWER’S METHEGLIN FOR HEALTH
First boil the water and scum it; Then to 12 Gallons put 6 handfuls of Sweet-bryar-leaves, of Sweet-marjoram, Rosemary, Thyme, of each one a handful: Flowers of Marigold, Borrage, Bugloss, Sage, each two handfuls. Boil all together very gently, till a third waste. To eight Gallons of this put two Gallons of pure honey, and boil them till the Liquor bear an Egge, the breadth of threepence or a Groat, together with such spices as you like (bruised, but not beaten) an ounce of all is sufficient.
You must observe carefully.
1. Before you set the Liquor to boil, to cause a lusty Servant (his Arms well washed) to mix the honey and water together, labouring it with his hands at least an hour without intermission.
2. That when it begins to boil fast, you take away part of the fire, so as it may boil slowly, and the scum and dross go all to one side, the other remaining clear. When you take it off, let none of the liquor go away with the dross.
3. When you take it from the fire, let it settle well, before it be tunned into the vessel, wherein you mean to keep it: and when it comes near the bottom, let it be taken carefully from the sediment, with a thin Dish, so as nothing be put into the vessel, but what is clear.
4. Stop it very close (when it is set in the place, where it must remain) cover it with a cloth, upon which some handfuls of Bay-salt and Salpeter is laid, and over that lay clay, and a Turf.
5. Put into it, when you stop it, some New-laid-eggs in number proportionable to the bigness of the vessel, Shell’s unbroken. Six Eggs to about sixteen Gallons. The whole Egg-shell and all will be entirely consumed.
METHEGLIN FOR TASTE AND COLOUR
Must be boiled as the other, if you intend to keep it above half a year; but less according to the time, wherein you mean to use it. You must put in no Herbs, to avoid bitterness and discolouring; and the proportion of water and honey more or less, as you would drink it sooner or later; (as a Gallon of honey to 4, 5, or 6 of water.) If to be weak, and to be soon drunk, you must when it is tunned, put in a Tost of bread (hard tosted) upon which half a score drops of Spirit of yest or barm is dropped; for want of it, spread it with purest barm beaten with a few drops of Oyl of Cinnamon.
If you intend to give it the taste of Raspes, then adde more barm, to make it work well, and during that time of working, put in your Raspes (or their Syrup) but the fruit gives a delicate Colour, and Syrup a duller Tincture. Drink not that made after the first manner, till six moneths, and it will endure drawing better then wine; but Bottleled, it is more spirited then any drink.
The Spirit of Barm is made by putting store of water to the barm; then distill the Spirit, as you do other Spirits; At last an oyl will come, which is not for this use.
Sir Thomas Gower maketh his ordinary drink thus: Make very small well Brewed Ale. To eight Gallons of this put one Gallon of honey; when it is well dissolved and clarified, tun up the Liquor, making it work in due manner with barm. When it hath done working, stop it up close, and in three months it will be fit to drink.
He makes Metheglin thus. Make a good Decoct of Eglantine-leaves, Cowslip flowers, a little Sweet-marjoram, and some Rosemary and Bay-leaves, Betony, and Scabious, and a little Thyme. After the sediment hath settled, put 1/3 or 1/4 or 1/5 or 1/6 part of honey, (according as you would have it strong, and soon ready) to the clear severed from the settlement, and stir it exceeding well with stripped arms 4 or 5 hours, till it be perfectly incorporated. Then boil and scum it; let it then cool and tun it up, &c.
After it hath cooled, lade the clean from the settlement, so that it may not trouble it, and run up the clear thus severed from the settlings. Much of the perfection consisteth in stirring it long with stripped arms before you boil it. Then to boil it very leisurely till all the scum be off. And order your fire so, that the scum may rise and drive all to one side. This will be exceeding pale clear and pleasant Metheglin. He useth to every Gallon of water, a good handful of Eglantine-leaves, and as much Cowslip flowers; but onely a Pugil of Thyme or Marjoram.
AN EXCELLENT WAY OF MAKING WHITE METHEGLIN
Take of Sweet-bryar berries, of Rosemary, broad Thyme, of each a handful. Boil them in a quantity of fair water for half an hour; then cleanse the water from the herbs, and let it stand 24 hours, until it be thorough cold. Then put your hony into it (hony which floweth from the Combs of it self in a warm place is best) make it so strong of the honey that it bear an egge (if you will have it strong) the breadth of a groat above the Liquor. This being done, lave and bounce it very well and often, that the honey and water may incorporate and work well together.
After this boil it softly over a gentle fire, and scum it. Then beat the whites of eggs with their shells, and put into it to clarifie it. After this, put some of it into a vessel, and take the whites of two eggs, and a little barm, and a small quantity of fine flower; beat them well together, and put it into the vessel close covered, that it may work. Then pour the rest into it by degrees, as you do Beer. At last take a quantity of Cinamon, 2 or 3 races of Ginger, and two Nutmegs (for more will alter the colour of it.) Hang these in a little bag in the vessel. Thus made, it will be as white as any White-wine.
ANOTHER WAY OF MAKING WHITE METHEGLIN
To three Gallons of Spring-water take three quarts of honey, and set it over the fire, till the scum rises pretty thick. Then take off the scum, and put in Thyme, Rosemary, Hyssop and Maiden-hair, of each one handful; and two handfuls of Eglantine leaves, and half a handful of Organ. The spices, Ginger, Nutmegs, Cinamon and a little mace, and boil all these together near half an hour. Then take it from the fire, and let it stand till it be cold, and then strain it, and so Tun it up, and stop it close. The longer you keep it, the better it will be.
Take two Gallons of water; one Gallon of Honey: Parietary one handful; Sage, Thyme, one Pugil; Of Hyssop half a Pugil. Six Parsley-roots; one Fennel-root, the pith taken out: Red-nettles one Pugil. Six leaves of Hearts-tongue. Boil this together one hour. Then put in the Honey, and Nutmegs, Cloves, Mace, Cinamon of each one ounce; of Ginger three ounces. Boil all these together, till the scum be boiled in, not scumming it. Then take it off, and set it to cool. When it is cold, put in it six spoonfuls of barm, and when it is ripe, it will hiss in the pail. You must take out the herbs, when you put in the honey. If you put in these herbs following, it will be far better; Sanicle, Bugloss, Avens, and Ladies-mantle, of each one handful.
TO MAKE WHITE METHEGLIN
Take of Sweet-bryar a great handful: of Violet-flowers, Sweet-marjoram, Strawberry-leaves, Violet-leaves, ana, one handful, Agrimony, Bugloss, Borrage, ana, half a handful. Rosemary four branches, Gilly-flowers, No. 4 (the Yellow-wall-flowers, with great tops) Anniseeds, Fennel, and Caraway, of each a spoonful, Two large Mace. Boil all these in twelve Gallons of water for the Space of an hour; then strain it, and let it stand until it be Milk-warm Then put in as much honey, as will carry an Egge to the breadth of sixpence, at least.
Then boil it again, and scum it clean; then let it stand, until it be cold; then put a pint of Ale-barm into it, and ripen it as you do Beer, and tun it. Then hang in the midst of the vessel a little bag with a Nutmeg quartered, a Race of Ginger sliced, a little Cinamon, and mace whole, and three grains of Musk in a cloth put into the bag amongst the rest of the Spices. Put a stone in the bag, to keep it in the midst of the Liquor. This quantity took up three Gallons of honey; therefore be sure to have four in readiness.
Take one Measure of honey, and dissolve it in four of water, beating it long up and down with clean Woodden ladels. The next day boil it gently, scumming it all the while till no more scum riseth; and if you will clarifie the Liquor with a few beaten whites of Eggs, it will be the clearer. The rule of it’s being boiled enough is, when it yieldeth no more scum, and beareth an Egge, so that the breadth of a groat is out of the water. Then pour it out of the Kettle into woodden vessels, and let it remain there till it be almost cold. Then Tun it into a vessel, where Sack hath been.
A RECEIPT FOR MAKING OF MEATH
Take a quart of honey, and mix it with a Gallon of Fountain-water, and work it well four days together, four times a day; The fifth day put it over the fire, and let it boil an hour, and scum it well. Then take the whites of two Eggs, and beat them to a froth, and put it into the Liquor; stirring it well, till the whites of Eggs have raised a froth of Scum; then take it off, scumming the liquor clean. Then take a handful of Strawberry-leaves and Violet-leaves together, with a little Sprig of Rosemary and two or three little Sprigs of Spike; and so boil it again (with these herbs in it) a quarter of an hour. Then take it off the fire, and when it is cold, put it into a little barrel, and put into it half a spoonful of Ale-yest, and let it work; which done, take one Nutmeg sliced, and twice as much Ginger sliced, six Cloves bruised, and a little stick of Cinamon, and sow these Spices in a little bag, and stop it well; and it will be fit for use within a fortnight, and will last half a year. If you will have your Metheglin stronger, put into it a greater quantity of honey.