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Joe’s Ancient Orange Mead Recipe

A delicious orange mead recipe by Joe Mattioli

Mead Ingredients (makes 3L) :

  • 1.5kgs of honey(will finish sweet)
  • A Large orange (later cut in eights or smaller rind and all)
  • One small handful of raisins (25 if you count but more or less ok)
  • stick of cinnamon
  • One whole clove ( or 2 if you like – these are potent critters)
  • optional (a pinch of nutmeg and allspice )( very small )
  • 1 teaspoon of bread yeast
  • Balance water to 3L

Mead Process:

  • Use a clean 3L Vessel
  • Dissolve honey in some warm water and put in vessel
  • Wash orange well to remove any pesticides and slice in eights –add orange (you can push them through opening  — rinds included — its ok for this mead 
  • Put in raisins, clove, cinnamon stick, any optional ingredients and fill to 7 cm from the top with cold water. ( need room for some foam — you can top off with more water after the first few day frenzy)
  • Shake the heck out of the jug with the top on, of course. This is your sophisticated aeration process.
  • When at room temperature in your kitchen, put in 1 teaspoon of bread yeast. ( No you don’t have to rehydrate it first– the ancients didn’t even have that word in their vocabulary– just put it in and give it a gentle swirl or not)(The yeast can fight for their own territory)
  • Install water airlock. Put in a dark place. It will start working immediately or in an hour. After major foaming stops in a few days add some water and then keep your hands off of it. (Don’t shake it! Don’t mess with yeast. Leave them alone except it’s okay to open your cabinet to smell every once in a while.


After 2 months and maybe a few days it will slow down to a stop and clear all by itself. Then you can put a hose in with a small cloth filter on the end into the clear part and siphon off the golden nectar. If you wait long enough even the oranges will sink to the bottom but I never waited that long. If it is clear it is ready. You don’t need a cold basement. It does better in a kitchen in the dark. (Like in a cabinet) likes a little heat (28C)