This recipe is my own invention. I had mesquite honey, and was trying to match it with complimentary spices; it happened to correspond with teaching at a Middle Eastern- themed event. This was the first mead I entered in competitions, and was a huge success everywhere I took it. It definitely improves with age.
One way to document this for an SCA competition is on this site under “Sixteenth Century Sack”.
for 5 gallons
12 lb. honey, I prefer mesquite
3.5 oz. oak cubes
1.5 oz raisins
2 cinnamon sticks
5 oz peeled, bruised ginger
Skin of one lemon w/o pith
Red Star Montrachet yeast
3 tsp yeast energizer
I put spices in a mesh bag for easier cleanup.
I get my mesquite honey in 3lb cans at Trader Joe’s (as of 2/2012)
Warm honey with some water to liquefy it. Pour into carboy, add spice sock rigged so you can pull it out of your fermenter (I really appreciate brewing buckets with locking lids rather than narrow-necked carboys, for this). Oak cubes are easier to manage so you can add them to the spice sock or not.
I generally start my yeast in some fruit juice, usually apple juice.
SG usually around 1.05, ending ABV around 8-9%.