TO MAKE WHITE MEATHE
Take six Gallons of water, and put in six quarts of Honey, stirring it till the honey be throughly melted; then set it over the fire, and when it is ready to boil, skim it clean; then put in a quarter of an Ounce of Mace; so much Ginger; half an Ounce of Nutmegs; Sweet-marjoram, Broad-thyme and Sweet-Bryar, of all together a handful, and boil them well therein. Then set it by, till it be throughly cold, and barrel it up, and keep it till it be ripe.
ANOTHER TO MAKE MEATHE
To every Gallon of water, take a quart of Honey, to every five Gallons, a handful of Sweet-marjoram, half a handful of Sliced-ginger; boil all these moderately three quarters of an hour; then let it stand and cool: and being Lukewarm, put to every five Gallons, about three quarts of Yest, and let it work a night and a day. Then take off the Yest and strain it into a Runlet; and when it hath done working: then stop it up, and so let it remain a month: then drawing out into bottles, put into every bottle two or three stoned Raisins, and a lump of Loaf-sugar. It may be drunk in two months.
ANOTHER VERY GOOD WHITE MEATH
Take to every Gallon of water a quart of Honey: boil in it a little Rose-mary and Sweet-marjoram: but a large quantity of Sweet-bryar-leaves, and a reasonable proportion of Ginger: boil these in the Liquor, when it is skimed; and work it in due time with a little barm. Then tun it in a vessel; and draw it into bottles, after it is sufficiently settled. Whites of Eggs with the shells beaten together, do clarifie Meath best. If you will have your Meath cooling, use Violet and Straw-berry-leaves, Agrimony, Eglantine and the like: adding Borage and Bugloss, and a little Rosemary and Sweet-Marjoram to give it Vigor.
Tartar makes it work well.
TO MAKE WHITE METHEGLIN
Take to three Gallons of Spring-water, one of Honey; first let it gently melt, then boil for an hour, continually skiming it; then put it into an earthen or woodden vessel, and when it is little more then Blood-warm, set it with Ale-yest, and so let it stand twelve hours; then take off the Yest, and Bottle it.
Put in it Limon-peel and Cloves, or what best pleaseth your taste of Herbs or Spices. Eringo-roots put into it, when it is a boiling, maketh it much better. So do Clove-gilly-flowers; a quantity of which make the Meath look like Claret-wine. I observe that Meath requireth some strong Herbs to make it quick and smart upon the Palate; as Rose-mary, Bay-leaves, Sage, Thyme, Marjoram, Winter-savory, and such like, which would be too strong and bitter in Ale or Beer.
TO MAKE WHITE MEATH
Take Rose-mary, Thyme, Sweet-bryar, Peny-royal, and Bays, Water-cresses, Agrimony, Marsh-mallows, leaves and flowers: Liver-wort, Wood-betony, Eye-bright, Scabious, of each alike quantity; of the bark of Ash-tree, of Eringo-roots-green, of each a proportion to the herbs; of wild Angelica, Ribwort, Sanicle, Roman-worm-wood, of each a proportion, which is, to every handful of the Herbs above named, a sixteenth part of a handful of these latter; steep them a night and a day, in a woodden boul of water covered; the next day boil them very well in another water, till the colour be very high;
Then take another quantity of water, and boil the herbs in it, till it look green, and so let it boil three or four times, or as long as the liquor looketh any thing green; then let it stand with these herbs in it a day and a night. To every Gallon of this water, put a quart of pure clear honey, the Liquor being first strained from the herbs. Your Liquor if it be strong enough will bear an Egg, the breadth of a three pence above water. When you have put the honey into the Liquor, you must work and Labour it together a whole day, until the honey be consumed.
Then let it stand a whole night again a clearing. Then put it into a kettle, and let it boil a quarter of an hour, with the whites and shells of six Eggs; Then strain it clean, and so let it stand a cooling. Then put it into a barrel, and take Cloves, Mace, Cinamon, Nutmegs, and beat them together: put them into a linnen bag, hang it with a thread into the barrel. If you would have it work, that you may drink of it presently, take the whites of two or three Eggs, a spoonful of barm, a spoonful of wheat-flower; beat all these together: Let it work, before you stop it up. Then afterwards stop it well with clay and salt tempered together, to keep it moist.
TO MAKE METHEGLIN
If your honey be tryed, take six Gallons of Milk-warm-water, to one of honey, and stir it well together ever and anon, and so let it stand for a day and night, or half a day may serve; then boil it with a gentle fire, for the space of half an hour or thereabouts, and skim it, still as the skum ariseth.
After it is scummed once or twice, you may put in your herbs, and spice grosly beaten, one half loose; the other in a bag, which afterwards may be fastned with a string to the tap-hole, as Pepper, Cloves, Mace, Ginger and the like; when it is thus boiled, let it stand in the vessel until it be cooled; then Tun it up into your barrel, and let it work two or three days, or more before you stop the bung-hole; but in putting up the boiled liquor into the barrel, reserve the thick grounds back, which will be settled in the pan or kettle.
If you would have it to drink within two or three months, let it be no stronger then to bear an Egg to the top of the water. If you would have it keep six months, or longer, before you drink it, let it bear up the Egg the breadth of two pence above the water. This is the surer way to proportion your honey then by measure. And the time of the tryal of the strength is, when you incorporate the honey and water together, before the boiling of it.
ANOTHER SORT OF MEATH
Take thirty six Gallons of fountain water (first boiled, &c.) and dissolve twelve Gallons of Honey in it. Keep them boiling an hour and a half after they begin to boil, skimming well all the while. It will be an hour upon the fire before it boil. When it is clear and enough boiled, pour it out into woodden vessels to cool. When you are ready to Tun it, have four Gallons of Black-currants, bruise them in a stone mortar, that they may the more easily part with their juyce to the Liquor.
Put them and their juyce into the barrel, and pour the cool Liquor upon them, so as the vessel be quite full. Cover the bung with a plate of lead lying loose on, that the working of the Liquor may lift it up, as it needeth to cast out the filth. And still as it worketh over, fill it up with fresh Liquor, made in the same proportion of honey and water. A moneth after it works no longer, stop up the bung very close.
TO MAKE VERY GOOD METHEGLIN
Take of all sorts of herbs, that you think are good and wholesome, as Balm, Minth, Fennel, Rosemary, Angelica, Wild-thyme, Hyssop, Agrimony, Burnet, and such other as you may like; as also some field herbs; But you must not put in too many, especially Rose-mary or any strong herb. Less then half a handfull will serve of every sort. Boil your herbs, and strain them out, and let the Liquor stand till the morrow, and settle; Then take of the clearest of the Liquor two Gallons and a half to one Gallon of Honey; and in that proportion take as much of them as you will make, and let it boil an hour, and in the boiling scum it very clean.
Then set it a cooling as you do Beer; and when it is cold, take some very good Ale-barm, and put it into the bottom of the Tub you mean the Metheglin shall work in, which pour into the Tub by little and little, as they do Beer, keeping back the thick settling, which lieth in the bottome of the vessels, wherein it is cooled. And when all is put together, cover it with a cloth, and let it work very near three days. And when you mean to put it up, scum off all the barm clean, and put it up into your Barrel or Firkin, which you must not stop very close in four or five days, but let it have a little vent, for it will work; and when it is close stopped, you must look to it very often, and have a peg in the top, to give it vent, when you hear it make a noise (as it will do) or else it will break the barrel.
You may also, if you please, make a bag, and put in good store of sliced Ginger, and some Cloves and Cinnamon, and boil it in, or put it into the barrel and never boil it. Both ways are good. If you will make small Metheglin, you may put five or six Gallons of water to one of honey. Put in a little Cinnamon and Cloves and boil it well. And when it is cold, put it up in bottles very close stopped, and the stopples well tyed on. This will not keep above five or six weeks, but it is very fine drink.
Make your Metheglin as soon as ever you take your Bees; for if you wash your combs in the water you boil your herbs in, when it is cold, it will sweeten much. But you must afterwards strain it through a cloth, or else there will be much wax.
TO MAKE MEATH
If you will have it to keep a year or two, take six parts of water, and one of honey; But if you will have it to keep longer, take but four parts of water to one of honey. Dissolve the honey very well in the water, then boil it gently, skimming it all the while as the scum riseth, till no more scum riseth. Then pour it out of the Copper into a fit vessel or vessels to cool. Then Tun it up in a strong and sweet cask, and let it stand in some place, where there is some little warmth; (It will do as well without warmth, but be longer growing ripe) This will make it work.
At first a course foul matter will work over; to which purpose it must be kept always full with fresh Liquor of the same, as it worketh over. When it begins to work more gently, and that which riseth at the top, is no more foul, but is a white froth; then fill and stop it up close, and set it in a cool cellar, where it is to stand continually.
After half a year or a year, you may draw it off from the Lees into a clean vessel, or let it remain untouched. It is not fit to be drunk for it’s perfection till the sweetness be quite worn off, yet not to be sower, but vinous. You may drink it at meals instead of wine, and is wholesomer and better then wine.
To small Meath, that is to be drunk presently, you may put a little Ginger to give it life, and work it with a little barm. If the Meath work not at all, it will nevertheless be good, and peradventure better than that which worketh; but it will be longer first, and the dregs will fall down to the bottom, though it work not.
Small Meath of eight or nine parts of water to one of honey, will be very good, though it never work, but be barrell’d up as soon as it is cold, and stopped close: and after two or three months drunk from the barrel without botteling. This is good for Meals.
TO MAKE WHITE MEATH
Take to every three Gallons of water, one Gallon of honey and set the water over the fire, and let the honey melt, before the water be too hot; then put in a New-laid-egg, and feel with your hand; if it comes half way the water, it is strong enough; Then put into it these Herbs, Thyme, Sweet-marjoram, Winter-savoury, Sweet-bryar, and Bay-leaves, in all a good great handful; which a proportion for ten Gallons; Then with a quick-fire boil it very fast half an hour, and no longer; and then take it from the fire, and let it cool in two or three woodden vessels; and let it stand without stirring twenty four hours. Then softly drain it out, leaving all the dregs behind.
Put the clear into your vessel; and if you like any spice, take Ginger, Nutmeg, Cinnamon, Mace and Cloves, and bruise them a little, and put them in a bag, and let them hang in your vessel. Before you put your Meath into the vessel, try if it will bear an Egg as broad as a peny; if it do, then it is very well; and if it be made with the best White-honey, it usually is just so. But if it should prove too strong, that it bears the Egge broader; then boil a little more honey and water very small, and put to it, when it is cold: and then put it into the vessel. It is best to be made at Michaelmas, and not drunk of till Lent.
TO MAKE SMALL WHITE MEATH
Take of the best white honey six quarts; of Springwater sixteen Gallons; set it on a gentle fire at first, tell it is melted, and clean skimmed; then make it boil apace, until the third part be consumed. Then take it from the fire, and put it in a cooler, and when it is cold, Tun it up, and let it stand eight months, before you drink it. When you take it from the fire, slice in three Orris-roots, and let it remain in the Liquor, when you Tun it up.
A RECEIPT TO MAKE METHEGLIN
Take four Gallons of water, two quarts of Honey, two ounces of Ginger, one ounce of Nutmegs, a good handful of Rose-mary tops, and as much of Bay-leaves, two ounces of dried Orange-peel. Boil all these till it be so strong as will bear an Egg, and not sink; when it is milk warm, work it up with barm, during twenty four hours, and then barrel it up. And after three months you may bottle it up at your pleasure.
As you desire a greater quantity of the drink, you must augment the ingredients, according to the proportions above recited.
TO MAKE METHEGLIN
Take four Gallons of water and one of Honey; boil and skim it: then put into it, Liverwort, Harts-tongue, Wild-carrot, and Yarrow, a little Rosemary and Bays, one Parsly-root, and a Fennel-root; let them boil an hour altogether. You may, if you please, hang a little bag of spice in it. When it is cold, put a little barm to it, and let it work like Beer. The roots must be scraped, and the Pith taken out.
MEATH FROM THE MUSCOVIAN AMBASSADOUR’S STEWARD
Take three times as much water as honey; then let the tubs, that the honey must be wrought in, be cleansed very clean with scalding water, so that it may not prove sowre; also when you mix them together, take half-warm-water, and half cold, and squeese them well together; Afterwards when you think the honey is well melted, then let it run through a sieve; and see your kettle of Copper or Iron (but Copper is better than Iron) be very clean; then put in your spice, as, Nutmegs, Ginger, Cloves, Cardamome, Anisseeds, Orange peel; put these in according to the quantity you make, and let them all be bruised, except the Orange peel, which leave whole.
The Meath must boil an hour by the Clock; after put it into Tubs to cool, and when it is cold, take three or four slices of White-bread, tost them very hard, and spread very good yest on both sides of the tosts; then put them into the Tubs. If it be warm weather, let the Tubs be uncovered; but if it be cold, cover them. This being done, you will find it worked enough by the black that cometh up by the sides of the Tubs; then take a sieve and take off the yest and bread. Afterwards draw it off at a tap in the Tub into the cask you intend to keep it in; then take a quantity of spice as before, well-bruised, and put it into a bag, and make it fast at the bung, with a string, and if it begins to work, after it is in the cask, be sure to give it vent, or else you will loose all.
TO MAKE MEATH
To every quart of honey put four quarts of Springwater; temper the honey in the water, being a little warmed; then put it on the fire again, with Fennel, Rose-mary, Thyme, Agrimony, Parsley or the like. Let them boil half an hour, and upwards; and as it boileth, scum the froth; Then take it off, and strain it, and let it cool as you do your wort. Then put a little barm into it, then take off the froath again, and stir it well together. Then take two quarts of Ale, boiled with Cloves. Mace, Cinnamon, Ginger and Liquorice; and put it to the Meath and Tun it up.
A RECEIPT TO MAKE WHITE MEATH
Take Rose-mary, Thyme, Sweet-bryar, Peny-royal, Bays, Water-cresses, Agrimony, Marsh-mallow-leaves and flowers, Liver-wort, Maiden-hair, Betony, Eye-bright, Scabious, the bark of an Ash-tree, young Eringo-roots, Wild-Angelica, Ribwort, Sinacle, Roman-worm-wood, Tamarisk, Mother-thyme, Saxafrage, Philipendula, of each of these herbs a like proportion; or of as many as you please to put in. You must put in all but four handfuls of herbs, which you must steep a night and a day, in a little bowl of water, being close covered.
The next day take another fresh quantity of water, and boil the same herbs in it, till the colour be very high; then take another quantity of water, and boil the same herbs in it, untill it look green; and so let them boil three or four times in several waters, as long as the Liquor looketh anything green. Then let it stand with these herbs in it a day and a night. Remember the last water you boil it in, to this proportion of herbs, must be eighteen Gallons.
And when it hath stood a day and a night with these herbs in it after the last boiling, then strain the Liquor from the herbs; and put as much of the finest and best honey into the Liquor, as will bear an Egg; you must work the honey and liquor together a whole day, until the honey be consumed; then let it stand one whole night; then let it be well laboured again, and set it a clearing; and so boil it again with the whites of six New-laid-eggs with the shells; skim it very clean; and let it stand a day a cooling; then put it into a barrel, and take Cloves, Mace, Cinnamon and Nutmegs as much as will please your taste, and beat them all together, and put them in a Linnen bag, and hang it with a thread into the barrel.
Then take the whites of two or three New-laid-eggs, a spoonful of barm, a spoonful of Wheat-flower, and beat them all together, and put it into your Liquor in the barrel, and let it work before you stop it; then afterwards stop it well, and set it in a cold place, and when it hath been settled some six weeks: draw it into bottles, and stop it very close, and drink not of it in a month after.
TO MAKE METHEGLIN
Take eight Gallons of water, set it over a clear fire in a Kettle; and when it is warm, put it to sixteen pounds of very good honey, and stir it well together; take off the scum, and put two large Nutmegs cut in quarters, and so let it boil at least an hour; Then take it off the fire, and put to it two good handfulls of grinded Malt, and with a white staff keep beating it together till it be almost cold; then strain it through a hair-sieve into a Tub, and put to it a wine-pint of Ale-yest, and stir it very well together; and when it is cold, you may if you please, Tun it up presently into a vessel fit for it, or else let it stand, and work a day, and when it hath done working in your vessel, stop it up very close. It will be three weeks or a month before it be ready to drink.