microgirl wrote:..as I was over for another event last weekend) and could probably pick up a few bottles of Moniack Mead. Gold-standard as far as I'm concerned, but then I haven't actually tried that many meads, and the ones I have have probably mostly been the aforementioned honeyed wines, rather than true meads.
I only spotted this post today...
Moniack is a pretty revolting mead. It's shockin' sweet. If you drink three or four bottles, the cloying sweetness rips every last bit of moisture from your throat.
Personal taste, of course, but a mead that tastes like honey is as bad as a wine that tastes of grapes. There are also apple wines, which have honey added after the fact. They are even worse; Lindisfarne and Bunratty would be examples of these.
The only good mead I've come across in the UK is the Isle of Bute stuff, and even that was slightly sweet. http://www.rabbitsfootmeadery.com
have the best stuff I've ever tasted; I highly recommend their pricey 'Mead of Poetry' if you like sweet stuff.
Les - very interested in your Hypocras. Tell me more!
The recipe I got from a French friend who makes it for his LRP in France is basically just a cold mulled wine. I'd love to get some advice on how to make a hypocras from scratch as opposed to spicing up shop-bought wine. (though it it takes so long to prepare and age it looks like I'll still be doing it that way for the Gathering in August
As far as I know, Hippocras was usually done with old wine, to make it more palatable. Unfortified medieval wines rarely kept longer than a year due to bad hygiene & storage problems. It might be worth asking on http://livinghistory.ie
- lot of the guys there make strange and wonderful brews.
The big problem with making up a 'real' hippocras is getting the spices. Some are pretty demented, like "grains of paradise" and "long peppers". See http://www.historicfood.com/Ypocras.htm