Welcome to the Order of the Sacred Star! This Pagan/Wiccan group, based in Winnipeg, Canada, is committed to teaching the Craft to all those who wish to learn. Our goal is to provide a complete and fulfulling learning experience. Our public classes are offered through the Winnipeg Pagan Teaching Circle.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Wiccan Sabbat Ritual Recipes — Harvest Mead Recipe

Harvest Mead is a traditional beverage that is a rich heady blend of fruit and honey and is served at many Wiccan Sabbats. Though primarily designed as a drink to be consumed for ritual purposes, it can be used for any purpose. It can be adapted to a non-alcoholic recipe quite easily.

This recipe has been created specifically with Wiccans and Pagans in mind. It includes the fruits of the fall, or harvest season. It is particularly suited to the Autumnal Equinox and Samhain. For other Sabbats, different fruits and spices can be used.

Traditional Harvest Mead Method

The following ingredients should be gathered close at hand:
  • 3 oranges
  • 2 lemons
  • 3 apples
  • 4 cardamoms
  • 3 nutmegs
  • 4 cinnamon sticks
  • 10 cloves
  • 20 cups water
  • 8 cups honey
  • 2 tablespoons wine yeast blended in ½ cup water
  1. The rind, flesh, and juices of the oranges and lemons should be added to a saucepan, but the white pith should be discarded. Make sure the rind and flesh are coarsely chopped. Chop the apples, discarding the core, and add to the mixture. The cinnamon sticks, cardamoms, cloves and nutmegs, and 10 cups of water should now be added and everything brought to the boil.
  2. The mixture should be simmered for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Strain through cheesecloth, and add an additional 8 to 10 cups of warm water. Stir in the honey, taking care that it blends well. Next add the yeast solution, stirring carefully to ensure that it dissolves properly.
  3. When the yeast solution is thoroughly dissolved, place the fluid in a sterilized container with a fermentation lock. Containers should preferably be new, but they can sometimes be found in second-hand shops. If using a second hand container, ensure that it is thoroughly washed and sterilized.
  4. Place the container in a warm dark place and leave it for at least six months. After about six weeks, small bubbles should be seen rising to the surface. After about six months, this activity should have ceased. If not, the mixture needs a little more time before it is considered ready.
  5. When the mixture has stopped fermenting, it can be decanted into sterile bottles with cork tops. Leave the mixture for a further week to ensure there is no additional fermentation. If there is, this will be indicated by a cork that lifts or pops out completely.
  6. If there is no further fermentation, the mead is ready for consumption.
Non-Alcoholic Harvest Mead Method

This is by far the quickest and least complicated method of making Harvest Mead. It is identical until after the liquid is strained. Then, instead of 8 cups of water, add 4 cups of fruit juice and approximately 4 cups of sparkling water. It is slightly less flavorful than the traditional method, but it has the advantage of being quick and alcohol free, for those who do not consume alcohol.

The juice used should be complementary to the fruits that have already been added to the mixture. Apple, lemon, or orange all work well. A combination of all three is very flavorful. Some people prefer to use a grapefruit juice. Whatever is the favorite juice of those consuming the mead will work fine.

This version of Harvest Mead can also be consumed immediately as fermentation is not required. However, it is best left overnight, at least, to allow the flavors to develop. If it is to be stored, make sure the container is air-tight, as the carbonated water will go ‘flat’ if it is not sealed. As an alternative, the sparkling water can be added immediately before the mead is served.

Harvest Mead is a drink that is quite popular with those who practice Wicca. It can be made just for Sabbats, such as the Autumnal Equinox and Samhain, or it can be consumed all year round. It is full of flavor and a wonderful addition to any table, especially with stuffed potatoes or Harvest Pumpkin Pie.

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