Sunday, May 1, 2011

Making Herbal Meads: St. John's Wort and Cherry Mead

This post is part of a Wild Things Round Up. Interested in homemade elixirs, beers and other wild and crazy alcohol treats? Check out the entire listing here. 

Yesterday my husband and I bottled up the last of our wines. All of the batches turned out pretty well, but it was the St. John's Wort and Cherry mead that was the most spectacular. Light and floral and the color of a beautiful rosĂ©. 

So, of course, I had to brag about this on my Facebook page and in response I had numerous requests for the recipe. So here you are!

For now, bookmark this page to make your own St. John's Wort and Cherry mead this summer. 

If you’ve never made mead or wine before look for my how-to video on making dandelion wine on 

To make this recipe I used St. John's Wort Flowers that had been frozen for about a month. I've never used dried St. John's Wort Flowers so I can't comment on whether or not that would work. 

Thanks to Portland herbalist Missy Rohs for giving me the idea! 

St. John’s Wort and Cherry Mead
One gallon of water
3 pounds of honey
1/4 teaspoon of yeast nutrient
One gallon of fresh St. John’s Wort Flowers
One pound of cherries (de-stoned and crushed)
1/4 cup of lemon juice
Wine yeast

  1. Place the honey and water in a pan and bring to a boil.
  2. In a food-grade bucket add the St. John’s Wort Flowers, cherries, lemon juice, and yeast nutrient. 
  3. Pour the just boiled honey water into the bucket and stir well. 
  4. Once the mixture in the bucket has cooled to about 85 degrees F, add the wine yeast (follow the directions on the wine yeast packet). Stir well. Cover with a cloth.
  5. This will stay in the primary fermenter for 3-5 days. Each day stir the mixture well. 
  6. After 3-5 days in the primary fermenter, strain off the liquid and place it in a carboy with an airlock. It will be ready in a year.

    Update: This is one of my favorite meads ever! I highly recommend the recipe. This year we made another batch and this time we simmered the cherries along with the St. John's Wort. We'll have to wait another year to find out how it compares.