Using honey to make mead has been my favourite discovery over the last few years. Without a doubt, it brings out the witch in me and I now have a rustic, quite porous wooden stick to stir and keep for each batch, hopefully transferring the yeasts and giving it a boost. There is a well-known garlic honey recipe in my book - I mention the fruits you can add in there and I think you should try it particularly while the summer fruits are abundant, but then again in autumn - persimmons, pomegranate, quinces and rhubarb all do well.
Garlic is the most well known and you ferment it the same as with the fruit. I've got garlic in a jar of honey that's about 3 years old; the garlic is quite translucent, the honey very dark, rich, deep, still sweet but tastes very much of garlic. It's fantastic drizzled over some blue cheese, any vegetable dish, potato and leek soup.... it's up to your palate to do the craving and find all of the ways to use it.
The honey is great as a throat soother - it obviously has all the wonderful properties of garlic so in particular we are grateful for this early winter. My daughter who studies opera is a huge fan. For the medicinal qualities we prefer the garlic infused honey young - at the 3 week to 3 month stage and eating the garlic older. For that reason I always coat the garlic in way more honey than it needs so we can get both young honey from there, and leave enough to age the garlic.
If you make this, you will use it as cough medicine or on sore throats.... I recommend adding some nigella seeds, and a sprig of thyme to this for a potent healer.
(Here is the recipe - only 1 direction... simple as that. x)
- Wash your fruit, peel your garlic or whatever you're using. When it comes to fruit like Nectarine and Quince, I leave the peel on.
- Place in a very clean jar.
- Pour honey over this, leaving a quarter of the jar as head room.
- Seal with clean lid and if you're not using an air lock system, place the jar on a little plate and make sure to burp now and then.
- For the first week, every time you go by your jar, give it a tip - like a snow globe - to make sure the fruit is covered, and also so you can enjoy watching the honey get thinner.
- Ferment for as long as you like.
Eat like this
I like pouring the fruit honey on creamy porridge in the winter. If the syrup is strong enough I add it to milk kefir and stir it in, rather than a smoothie. Drizzle over pancakes. Make a wild fermented soda with it by putting a ratio of 1:10 syrup to water, and letting the lidded bottle sit out on the shelf for a few days. If you are interested in making herbal medicines then go for the elderberry with some thyme, a piece of dried burdock, a slither of ginger, I think getting hold of some adaptogenic dried mushrooms could be a good add as well.