River Cottage Australia



Honey mead is an alcoholic drink made by fermenting - you guessed it - honey! It's the perfect winter night cap!


  • 1.6kg honey

  • 1 orange, unpeeled, thoroughly washed and roughly chopped

  • 1 tbsp. raisins

  • 1 cinnamon quill

  • ½ tsp. yeast

  • ½ tsp. yeast nutrient

  • 4.5 litres water

  • Pinch nutmeg (optional)

  • Pinch allspice (optional)

  • Equipment

  • 5 litre demijohn


  • 1.

    Dissolve honey in 500ml warm water and transfer to clean demijohn. Add raisins and cinnamon and, as required, the optional spices and fill with remaining 4 litres of water.  Make sure you leave some room at the top of the demijohn for the foam that will form when the yeast starts to activate.

  • 2.

    Insert the top into the demijohn securely and shake the demijohn to oxygenate the must. This will get the yeast working.

  • 3.

    Set the mead aside, and when it has reached room temperature, add the ½ tsp. of yeast. 

  • 4.

    Install the airlock into the demijohn and half fill it with clean water. Transfer to a cool area with lots of shade. The mead will start to activate and create a foam on the top over the next 12 hours. Leave to activate for 1 to 2 months in a cool, dark and shaded area.

  • 5.

    When the foaming has ceased, use a sanitised hose to transfer the mead from the demijohn into another sanitised vessel, leaving the slurry behind.

  • 6.

    The mead should be dry. The alcohol content depends on the amount of honey used and the activation of the yeast. As a general rule of thumb, you can expect approximately 6% alcohol per kilogram of honey in a 5 litre batch.


WARNING: In Australia, Honey Mead should only be consumed by people over the age of 18. Keep in secure place, marked as alcohol. 

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Posted by Clarissa46Report
Hi, I tried this recipe and couldn't fit all the ingredients in the demijohn! With 1.6 kg of honey I could only fit 3.5l of water leaving a few cm for air. Have I mismeasured something?