[from Codex Trapezoedicus: Being the Ordenbuch of the Order of the Trapezoid, 2004]
I offer this alternative to store-bought mead/wine/ale as it is for the most part made by hand and has an interesting history behind it: Atholbrose is an adaptation of a very old recipe that was used in the colder regions of Britain similarly to mead. It’s been bastardized today into “Bailey’s Irish Cream”, but this tastes much better. The nice part about Atholbrose is that you don’t need to ferment it and can mix it up a day ahead. The Duke of Athol of in Scotland was coming under siege of the Romans. He had a well outside his castle that he instructed his Knights to fill with oatmeal, honey and scotch whisky. When the Romans arrived they drank from the well and discovered the “mana from the gods” was contained inside. Upon consuming large quantities of the mix the Romans fell drunkenly asleep that night at which point the previously outnumbered Knights of the Duke walked out and slit the throats of the drunken Romans and celebrated their victory without the loss of a single man by drinking themselves into a safe stupor from the same well that was the downfall of the Romans.
The idea behind the ingredients is 3-fold. The oats are for sustenance, the spirit for inspiration, and the honey for the sweetness of victory. Here’s the recipe (makes about 1/2 gallon and keeps for a month or two).
4 cups rolled oats
4 cups water
2 cups more water
4 cups Scotch or Irish Whiskey (it doesn’t have to be expensive)
1 cup honey (preferably heather honey)
2 cup cream or Half-n-Half
Two large bowls
Makes 1/2 gallon.
1. In a large bowl mix oats and water, stir, let the mixture sit until the water is totally absorbed (overnight).
2. Add 2 cups more water to the mixture, let sit 2 hours.
3. Strain oat/water mixture through 2-3 layers of cheese cloth into a large bowl by squeezing and wringing globs of oatmeal through the cheese cloth until oats are nearly free of water. This is messy and requires a lot of effort! Reserve pressed oats for oat cakes.
4. Add scotch, honey, and cream to oat-water. Mix until all ingredients are blended.