Now Galadriel rose from the grass, and taking a cup from one of her maidens she filled it with white mead and gave it to Celeborn.
“Now it is time to drink the cup of farewell,” she said. “Drink Lord of the Galadrim!…”
Then she brought the cup to each of the Company, and bade them drink and farewell.
-Fellowship of the Rings
This is a white metheglin, like many similar recipes in the Closet of Sir Kenelm Digby Opened, circa 1669. One of the really unique elements of it is that an egg white is boiled into the wort near the beginning of the brewing process. This was done to make a clear, or white, mead, and although I doubted at first, I was amazed just how well it worked. The finished brew is crystal clear, one of the prettiest I’ve made yet.
At around 8%, it’s not a heavyweight mead, but retains much of the honey sweetness. The herbal and floral flavors are there, giving it an unexpected complexity. I had some fun picking out the ingredients: thyme, as a nod to how long the elves live; elder, as a play on Eldar; and then other period-appropriate ingredients, by instinct. I’m delighted with how it came out, and hope to enter it in a competition soon!
For other recipes from Middle Earth, as well as info about my forthcoming Shire Cookbook, check out www.TheShireCookbook.com
Elvish White Mead Recipe
- 1 gallon water
- 3.5 lb. honey
- 1 egg white
- 3 Tbs. each lemon balm, hyssop
- 2 Tbs. clover flowers, linden, dried rosehips, marjoram
- 1 Tbs. thyme, whole hops
- 1 heaping cup dried elderflowers
- 1/2 cup chopped white raisins
- ale yeast
Combine the honey and 1 gallon of water. Bring to a boil while stirring to make sure the honey doesn’t stick to the bottom and singe. Add the beaten egg white, while whisking. The white should cook, and rise to the top, carrying with it any impurities from the honey. Skim off anything that rises.
Simmer herbs in 2/3 gallon of the sweetened water for 15 minutes, then remove from heat and let sit for another 15. Strain out the herbs, and allow the liquid to cool somewhat. Pour into a carboy, and pitch yeast when it’s cool enough.
When the mead is done fermenting, bottle and age. Mine was good even before bottling, but after a month the flavors really settled in. I’m looking forward to testing it after a year!