Dry Apricot Melomel
Melomel is a general term for an alcoholic drink made from honey and fruit juice. They are cheaper to make than mead as they use less honey and the quality of the honey is not so important. They also normally ferment out more reliably. The aim here is to make a wine of 11-12% ABV, flavoured with apricots and retaining the characteristics of the honey.
1 litre apple juice
1lb dried apricots
8 oz sugar
1 ½ lb honey
Re-hydrate the yeast in accordance with the instructions on the packet and then build up a starter using the apple juice.
Chop the apricots and pour three pints of boiling water over them.
Leave to cool.
When cool, add the sugar, nutrients, pectic enzyme, the yeast starter and any remaining juice.
Ferment on the pulp for 2-3 days.
Strain off the pulp and transfer to a demi-john.
Dissolve the honey in water to give a total (honey and water) of 3 pints; heat in a saucepan to 60°C and keep it at that temperature for 15 minutes. Do not boil it.
After the 15 minutes, cool it and add it to the demi-john.
Make the volume up to 1 gallon with cooled boiled water. Ferment to dryness and rack in the usual way.
The fruit should provide sufficient acid for a dry white wine, but adjust, to taste, if necessary.