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Virginia Historical Society’s mead recipe to be recreated by Black Heath Meadery

Thirty gallons of mead will be made using a found recipe from 1802 and can be sampled at a tasting event September 8th.

Trevor Dickerson



From the Virginia Historical Society:

A mead recipe from 1802 found within the collections of the Virginia Historical Society has inspired Black Heath, Richmond’s first meadery, to make thirty gallons. “The VHS hopes that this experimental recipe of the world’s oldest fermented beverage will intrigue local mead enthusiasts and generate further interest in our ‘History on Tap’ program. Recipes in the VHS’s collections are accessible to anyone who wishes to do research on the topic,” said Dr. Paul Levengood, President and CEO of the VHS.

Mead, an alcoholic drink produced by fermenting honey and water with yeast, is known from many sources of ancient history from all over the world and is often considered to be the ancestor of all fermented beverages. Black Heath Meadery chose a recipe from The Frugal Housewife: Or, Complete Woman Cook by Susannah Carter. Printed in Philadelphia in 1802, the cookbook includes 500 recipes for a variety of food and beverages. Black Heath chose a mead recipe that uses various spices representing different areas ruled by the British Empire.

“History On Tap: The Queen Bee,” a ticketed tasting event, will be held at the VHS on Tuesday, September 8, at 6:00 p.m. The evening will include an informal discussion about mead-making in Virginia, and the making of Queen Bee, featuring Bill Cavender, owner of Black Heath Meadery. Keith Tignor, State Apiarist, will speak about beekeeping and honey. Dr. Levengood will speak about the importance of the VHS’s collections. Tickets cost $18 for VHS members and $20 for nonmembers. Registration is required as the quantity of Queen Bee is limited. The ticket price includes a glass of Queen Bee, an additional pour of Black Heath’s Muse mead, and light hors d’oeuvres.

Learn more and purchase tickets here.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.