“Just a mouthful each– for all of us. It is very precious. It is miruvor, the cordial of Imladris. Elrond gave it to me at our parting.”
-The Lord of the Rings, J.R.R.Tolkien
While described as a cordial,miruvór is also mentioned in Namárië, a poem written in Elvish by J.R.R. Tolkien. A translation of the poem describes miruvóre as a mead.
Yéni ve lintë yuldar avánier mi oromardi lissë-miruvóreva Andúnë pella…
The long years have passed like swift draughts of the sweet mead in lofty halls beyond the West…
Not surprising, as mead, also known as honey wine, is an ancient alcoholic drink, some history dating it to 7000 BC.
While some bottle shops sell mead, it’s also easy to make it at home, although, depending on the recipe, mead can take 30 days to 12 months before it’s ready.
- packet of champagne yeast
- 500g honey
- 2L filtered water
- demijohn and airlock
- sodium metabisulfite (used for equipment and bottle disinfectant)
- 2L glass bottle
- Start by prepping your equipment. Follow the instructions on the sodium metabisulfite bottle on cleansing your glass bottle before use. This'll keep any bacteria from messing up your mead.
- Once the glass bottle is rinsed out well, fill with warm (not hot) filtered water, and pour in the yeast.
- Let it sit for 10 minutes so the yeast activates, then pour in the honey.
- Close the swing top of the bottle and give the bottle a good shake until the honey seems to have dissolved.
- Reopen the bottle and attach the demijohn (essentially a cork with a hole) and airlock (a plastic part that sticks in the demijohn. This allows the fermentation to happen, but ensures no dust and oxygen can get in.) Fill the airlock with filtered water.
- Set the bottle aside in a dark spot.
- In about a months time, taste test. it may need to sit for another month or two.
- At this point, there are different options. Some people drink it, some pour it into another bottle so the yeast sediment isn't in the bottle. If you're following this path, make sure you clean your airlock and demijohn with sodium metabisulfite again before using in the clean bottle.*
- It's noted in some books that leaving it after rebottling will help it age and for the taste to mellow.
I purchase sodium metabisulfite from Big W (equivalent of Walmart) in the home brewing section. For those in the US, you can find sodium metabisulfite on Amazon here.
I haven't bought this specific brand, but this is what you're looking for when I say demijohn and airlock
I tend to buy these two brands of Champagne yeast: Red Star Premier Blanc and Lalvin EC-1118 Champagne
*Make sure the mead has finished fizzing and bubbling (look closely or taste test-- you'll feel a fizz on your tongue) before you rebottle. If you haven't made alcohol before, I recommend that you use PET bottles (you can buy them in the home brew section, same as the sodium metabisulfite). That way if the mead is still fermenting and the carbonation continues to build up, you won't be left with exploding glass in the middle of the night, and thoughts that there's an intruder in your house...
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