Elspeth’s Favorites

Easy Spiced Cider SO much better than the kits!

Easy Spiced Cider SO much better than the kits!

Curling up with a mug of steaming mulled cider is a lovely thing this chilly, dank time of year, but I beg you, don’t get those silly, frilly, expensive  little kits to make your cider with.  Making showstopping spiced cider is stupid easy and much less expensive than getting a […]

My first designer beer (recipe included)

My first designer beer (recipe included)

I haz designed my first beer and I like it a lot! I’m pretty picky, mind you. This batch of beer is only about 4%  and has an FG of 1.024; to me it tastes plenty sweet.  The nose has plenty of  fruit; banana comes through, and a hint of […]

Books for Brewers: Basic List of Books of Modern How-To on Beer and Mead

Books for Brewers: Basic List of Books of Modern How-To on Beer and Mead

This is my collection of books of modern how-to on beer and mead – all the books I currently have in my library plus a few.   There are even a few country-wine-and-liqueur books here.  Suggestions for additions are welcome; so are corrections.  Maybe there’s something here you haven’t seen before […]

Cherry Pyment

Cherry Pyment

This has taken two silver medals so far this season (Merrimack valley Homebrew Competition and Meadlennium in Florida) and just helped me win the coveted title at the SCA event known as the Baronial Brewers Smackdown at Highland Foorde’s Highland River Melees.  I wrote this rather hurriedly, and I’m afraid it shows. The Recipe Started August […]

Blood Orange Cordial

Blood Orange Cordial

This year I made a modern Blood Orange Cordial.  Sounds dramatic, doesn’t it?  I made it for historic competitions. Blood oranges, C. sinensis, were first discovered and cultivated in 15th century Sicily (the region around Mt. Etna still has many blood orange groves).  I was intrigued that they are only available during a few weeks […]

Peach Cordial

Peach Cordial

     My nephew Ross has been making cordials since college, but just recently knocked my socks off with this one and the Cranberry Cordial also on this site. Have you tried this? Made it, tasted it?  What did you think?      3 lbs peaches, pitted and quartered (I left the skins […]

Cranberry Cordial

Cranberry Cordial

Have you tried this? Made it, tasted it?  What did you think?      16 oz. cranberries      1/2 peel lemon, scraped      1/4 peel orange, scraped      1.5 c vodka (I used white brandy)       1.5 c sugar syrup (simple syrup) Steep 4 weeks or until as smooth as you wish. […]

Raisin Clove Melomel/Metheglin/Melometh

Raisin Clove Melomel/Metheglin/Melometh

I believe this recipe is of my own devising by now, though it started with someone else’s.  It was a favorite of my dear friend Elaine Koogler’s, known in the SCA as Sensei Minowara Kiritsubo. for 5 gallons       White Labs sweet mead yeast      20 lbs orange blossom honey […]

Middle Eastern Metheglin

Middle Eastern Metheglin

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 […]

Killer Bee Braggot (Dark or Hefty Braggot)

Killer Bee Braggot (Dark or Hefty Braggot)

     This is one of my favorite recipes.  It takes about ten months to age and holds well.  Killer bee honey is dark, complex, very caramel-y – not like anything else I’ve ever  had.  It’s from Brazil, and organically produced.  It’s expensive, so I tend to hoard this. Have you tried […]

Autumn Spice Braggot

Autumn Spice Braggot

Not my recipe, but a darn good one.  Have you tried this? Made it, tasted it?  What did you do differently? Please let me know what you thought! 6.5 lb wildflower honey 2 lb Briess 2-row malt 3 lb amber malt extract ½ lb 120L Crystal malt ¼ lb peppercorns […]