[Sca-cooks] Tenth Century Mead Recipes

Terry Decker t.d.decker at att.net
Wed Aug 29 20:17:35 PDT 2012

> <<< *A Recipe for mead without raisins:* (p 470) >>>
> Interesting. *without raisins*! Does that imply that the regular version 
> of this drink is *with* raisins?
> Although the raisins don't seem to actually be mentioned in the recipe.

North African arak is commonly made from grapes or raisins and flavored with 

There is also the possibility here that the recipe made with raisins falls 
into the Q'uran prohibition against intoxicants made from "the fruit of the 

> <<< At this point, add to the pot 2 mithqals (9 grams)
> saffron and 2 dirhems (6 grams) mastic. Pour into the pot 5 ratls (10
> cups) cold water. >>>
> Saffron? Not what I would think of to add to a sweet drink.

I think you are assuming this is a sweet drink.  Depending on the 
thoroughness of the fermentation, it could be a dry drink.  Even if it is 
sweet, I see no problem with saffron being used as a flavoring, as with the 
anise in arak, or to impart a yellow color to the wine.

> <<< Empty the liquid into glass jars. Set them aside in a shaded place for
> 50 days after which you seal them with mud. Use the wine in winter by
> mixing one part of it with two parts of musk-flavored water. It will be
> a splendid drink. >>>
> Does this imply that they considered the water safe to drink? Or is this 
> like mixing water in with wine, where the alcohol gives some protection? 
> But then we do have the other sekanjaban type drinks from the middle east 
> that use water without boiling it.
> Stefan

In a desert, you use what is available.  This is Mesopotamia, the Land of 
Two Rivers, and a lot of wells.  Yes, they used water.  Whether or not they 
boiled or filtered it, I don't know.


More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list