Smooch: Red Zinfandel Pyment

Mead Making photo for Smooch: Red Zinfandel Pyment

This recipe is the honey mead version of fortified Port or Sherry wine. Hippocras is a combination of Pyment and spices. You must choose your spice wisely so as not to impair the grape flavor.


Begin the wine kit as instructed in the kit by preparing the bentonite and getting the bagged juice into the fermenter.

Instead of adding water to make 6 gallons, add only enough water to make 5 gallons.

Sprinkle the yeast on top of the must and place the lid on your fermenter.

Cover the air lock grommet hole with a clean paper towel and allow fermentation to start for 24 hours.

Once fermentation is active, noted by foaming on the surface of the wine, add the gallon of honey, tartaric acid, nutrient, and energizer. Stir for two minutes to be sure the honey is dispersed into the wine.

Ferment for 2 weeks prior to racking to a carboy.

Follow the wine kit instructions but, add one week to each step.

When the kit instructions indicate that it is time to bottle; place the oak cubes in boiling water for two minutes. Cool them with cold water and place them into a clean and sanitized carboy. Rack the mead to this carboy and attach an airlock. Allow the mea to rest (bulk age) for eight weeks.

Once bottled, this mead will enjoy a few months rest before drinking, and, be sure to hide a few bottles away for a year or two to appreciate the full experience of Red Zin Pyment.

Heat the mixture to 180°F. Reduce the heat and hold the temperature between 175° and 180°F for 10 minutes. Stir occasionally and skim any white film (bees wax) off of the surface. Do not allow to boil.

Remove kettle from the heat and place it in a sink of cold water to reduce its temperature. Stir occasionally and change the sink water when it becomes warm. Do this until temperature is below 85°F.

Clean and sanitize your primary fermenter and airlock.

Place two gallons of bottled spring water in the sanitized fermenter pail. Allow the water to splash around so it picks up oxygen.

Add 500 ml of white or red grape juice concentrate then, using a sanitized spoon; vigorously stir in all the remaining ingredients except the campden tablets and yeast.

Pitch the yeast by sprinkling it on the surface of the must. Close the primary fermenter and attach the airlock. Allow it to ferment at room temperature for 14 days or until the activity in the air lock slows to less than 1 bubble per minute, whichever is longer. Bottle mead.

homemade mead with mulling spices

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