Rhusamel Indian Lemonade (Sumac) Mead

Mead made with sumac berries.

RecipeMakes 1 Gallon

  • 3 lbs of honey
  • 20 full heads of very red sumac berries.

If you wish, for a more full-bodied flavor, you can combine the Traditional recipe with this one.

Agitate the sumac berries in about 3/4 gallon of water, extracting as much of the acid from their exterior as possible. This may be accomplished with a blender. Afterward, strain with a fine mesh seive, discarding the strained particulate.

Add the honey to your fermenter, then fill with the filtered sumac wash, up to half way. Shake the fermenter vigorously to dissolve the honey and aerate the must. Add the rest of the sumac wash to fill most of the way, leaving some headspace in case it foams up. Add the yeast of your choice, and shake to incorporate. Finally, install an airlock, and store in a cool, dark place.

Once fermentation is complete, rack into another vessel for batch conditioning (also called secondary fermentation) or directly bottle.