White metheglin of my Lady Hungerford: which is exceedingly praised.

Take your Honey, and mix it with fair water, until the Honey be quite dissolved. If it will bear an Egge to be above the liquor, the breadth of a groat, it is strong enough; if not, put more Honey to it, till it be so strong; Then boil it, till it be clearly and well skimmed; Then put in one good handful of Strawberry-leaves, and half a handful of violet leaves; and half as much Sorrel: a Douzen tops of Rosemary; four of five tops of Baulme-leaves: a handful of Harts-tongue, and a handful of Liver-worth; a little Thyme, and a little Rad-sage; Let it boil about an hour; then put it into a Woodden Vessel, where let it stand, till it be quite cold; Then put it into the Barrel; Then take half an Ounce of Cloves, as much Nutmeg; four of five Races of Ginger; bruise it, and put it into a fine bag, with a stone to make it sink, that it may hang below the middle: Then stop it very close.

The Herbs and Spices are in proportion for six gallons.

Since my Lady Hungerford sent me this Receipt, she sent me word, that she now useth (and liketh better) to make the Decoction of Herbs before you put the Honey to it. This Proportion of Herbs is to make six Gallons of Decoction, so that you may take eight of nine Gallons of water. When you have drawn out in o your water, all the vertue of the Herbs, throw them away, and take the clear Decoction (leaving the settlings) and when it is Lukewarm, Dissolve your proportion of Honey in it. After it is well dissolved and laved with strong Arms or woodden Instruments, like Battle doors or Scoops, boil it gently, till you have taken away all the scum; then make an end of well boyling it, about an hour in all. Then pour it into a wooden vessel, and let it stand till it be cold. Then pour the clear through a Sieve of hair, ceasing pouring when you come to the foul thick sertling. Tun the clear into your vessel, (without Barm) and stop it up close, with the Spices in it, till you perceive by the hissing that it begins to work. Then give it some little vent, else the Barrel would break. When it is at the end of the working, stop it up close. She useth to make it at the end of Summer, when she takes up her honey, and begins to drink it in Lent. But it will be better if you defer piercing it till next Winter. When part of the Barrel is drunk, she botteleth the rest, which maketh it quicker and better. You clear the Decoction from the herbs by a Hair-sieve.


Recipes from The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt Opened: Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wine, &c. together with Excellent Directions for Cookery: As also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, &c. First edition, London, 1669.

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