To read from Part 1, begin here.
Mead is an old-fashioned honey wine. It’s strong and sweet. Real mead is aged like wine, for at least a year and sometimes in barrels. This is a lighter, faster version, but it’s plenty alcoholic.
I’m not 100% sure there are any officially kosher commercial meads. But it doesn’t matter because now you can make your own.
- 1 pound of honey per gallon
- distilled water
- flavoring agents – I like blackberry puree and lemon, ginger and lemon, orange peel, blueberry/mint. You can also add tea as a flavoring agent to turn this mead into alcoholic tea.
Pour the honey into the carboy. For adding tea, ginger, or similar spices, boil about 2 cups of water/gallon and let the flavors steep for a few minutes. Add this to the carboy, along with whatever you were steeping. Fill the rest of the carboy with cold distilled water, cover the top with a clean hand, and shake until the mead is dissolved
Do not add the yeast until the water has cooled to room temperature. If you add the yeast to hot water, it will die.
Once the water has cooled, add the yeast, yeast nutrient, and place the airlock same as with the cider.
When It’s Ready (The Same For All These Recipes)
After two weeks, put the entire carboy in the fridge to cold-crash for 24 hours. This will slow down the yeast and stop the fermentation. It will not, however, stop it completely.
Assemble your auto-siphon by carefully heating the flexible tubing so it creates an air-tight seal. Do the same thing on the other end of the tube attaching to the bottling wand.
Using the auto-siphon and a friend, bottle your drinks in a flexible plastic bottle, like a seltzer bottle, that has also been sanitized. This will allow some flex room for the leftover yeast to still carbonate, and it will not explode.
Auto-siphons can be tricky, but let gravity do the work: place your carboy on a higher surface and bottle on the floor. Pump the siphon and it should start to suck the liquid from the bottle. Press the spring-loaded tip of the bottling wand in the bottom of your bottle and lift it when the bottle is filled. Repeat until there is no more to bottle. There will be sediment at the bottom of your carboy, and you don’t really want this in your drink, so don’t empty the carboy completely; leave about an inch or so of liquid.
Put your home-made alcohols in the fridge, and enjoy (responsibly)! They’ll get slightly boozier as they sit, and they should all be good to drink for about 2-3 weeks— in time for the Seder.
Rachel Jacobs is a podcast and radio producer in food media. She is the most Brooklyn.
Editor’s Note: Stay tuned tomorrow for one final kosher-for-Passover alcohol recipe!
Photo credits: Rachel Jacobs and Gabriela Geselowitz