My own Considerations for making of Meathe

Boil what quantity of Spring-water you please, three or four walms, and then let it settle twenty four hours, and pour the clear from the settling. Take sixteen Gallons of the clear, and boil in it ten handfuls of Eglantine-leaves, five of Liverwort, five of Scabious, four of Baulm, four of Rosemary; two of Bayleaves; one of Thyme, and one of Sweet-marjoram, and five Eringo-roots splitted. When the water hath drawn out the virtue of the herbs (which it will do in half an hours boiling,) let it run through a strainer or sieve, and let it settle so, that you may pour the clear from the Dregs. To every three Gallons of the Clear, take one of Honey, and with clean Arms stripped up, lade it for two or three hours, to dissolve the honey in the water; lade it twice or thrice that day. The next day boil it very gently to make the scum rise, and scum it all the while, and now and then pour to it a ladle full of cold water, which will make the scum rise more: when it is very clear from scum, you may boil it the more strongly, till it bear an Egge very high, that the breadth of a groat be out of the water, and that it boil high with great walms in the middle of the Kettle: which boiling with great Bubbles in the middle is a sign it is boiled to it's height. Then let it cool till it be Lukewarm, at which time put some Ale-yest into it, to make it work, as you would do Ale. And then put it up into a fit Barrel first seasoned with some good sweet White-wine (as Canary-sack ) and keep the bung open, till it have done working, filling it up with some such honey-drink warmed, as you find it sink down by working over. When it hath almost done working, put into it a bag of thin stuff (such as Bakers use to bolt in) fastened by a Cord at the bung, containing two parts of Ginger-sliced, and one apiece of Cinamon, Cloves and Nutmegs, with a Pebble-stone in it to make it sink; And stop it up close for six Months or a year, and then you may draw it into Bottles. If you like Cardamom-seeds, you may adde some of them to the spices. Some do like Mint exceedingly to be added to the other herbs. Where no yeast is to be had, The Liquor will work if you set it some days in the hot Sun (with a cover, like the roof of a house over it, to keep wet out, if it chance to rain) but then you must have great care, to fill it up, as it consumeth, and to stop it close a little before it hath done working, and to set it then presently in a Cool Cellar. I am told that the Leaven of bread will make it work as well as yest, but I have not tryed it. If you will not have it so strong, it will be much sooner ready to drink; As if you take six parts of water to one of Honey. Some do like the drink better without either herbs or spices, and it will be much the whiter. If you will have it stronger, put but Gallons and a half of water to one of honey.

You may use what Herbs or Roots you please, either for their tast or vertue, after the manner here set down.

If you make it work with yeast, you must have great care, to draw it into bottles soon after it hath done working, as after a fortnight or three weeks. For that will make it soon grow stale, and it will thence grow sower and dead before you are aware. But if it work singly of it self, and by help of the Sun without admixtion of either Leaven or Yeast, it may be kept long in the Barrel, so it be filled up to the top, and kept very close stopp'd.

I conceive it will be exceeding good thus: when you have a strong Honey-liquor of three parts of water to one of Honey, well-boiled and scummed, put into it Lukewarm, or better (as soon as you take it from the fire) some Clovegilly-flowers, first wiped, and all the whites clipped off, one good handful or two to every Gallon of Liquor. Let these infuse 30 or 40 hours. Then strain it from the flowers, and either work it well with yeast, or set it in the Sun to work; when it hath almost done working, put into it a bag of like Gilly-flowers (and if they are duly dried, I think they are the better) hanging it in at the bung. And if you will put into it some spirit of wine, that hath drawn a high Tincture from Clove-gillyflowers (dried, I conceive is best) and some other that hath done the like from flowers and tops of Rosemary, and some that hath done the like from Cinnamon and Ginger, I believe it will be much the nobler, and last the longer.

I conceive, that bitter and strong herbs, as Rosemary, Bayes, Sweet-marjoram, Thyme, and the like, do conserve Meathe the better and longer, being as it were instead of hops. But neither must they, no more than Clove-gillyflowers be too much boiled: For the Volatil pure Spirit flies away very quickly. Therefore rather infuse them. Beware of infusing Gillyflower in any vessel of Metal, (excepting silver:) For all Metals will spoil and dead their color. Glased earth is best.

Transcribed by Joyce Miller <jmiller@genome.wi.mit.edu>