In Finland it's traditional to make mead for the 1st of May.
Plain mead is boring, though, so this time I added a handful or two of the leaf buds of black currant (Ribes nigrum). I'd have preferred full-grown light green leaves, but our black currants still look just like brown sticks.
Mead with a hint of black currant
8 l water
½ kg brown sugar (that's fariinisokeri, a kind of damp brown sugar, not dry brown sugar)
½ kg sugar
the juice of 2-3 lemons
¼ teaspoon yeast
a handful or two of black currant leaf buds, or, if you make this later in the year, a liter of black currant leaf
Pour the sugars into a 10 liter bucket, add a liter or two of boiling water, stir. Add the remaining water and the lemon juice and add the yeast if the liquid is handwarm.
If the liquid is too hot: let cool to hand warm.
If the liquid is too cold: scoop some out and bring to a boil, pour back.
Add black currant leaf buds or leaf.
Let sit under a lid in room temperature for 1-2 days.
Bottle, add a few raisins and a tea- or tablespoon of sugar to each bottle, let sit in room temperature for 3 days or in a cool cellar for 5 days. It's done when the raisins have risen to the top.
Serve chilled. Yum!
... underdone mead tastes of yeast and will give you diarrhea. Overdone mead is far too sour. Nicely timed mead is delicious.
I started the mead on Tuesday, will bottle on Thursday, and will keep the bottles in room temperature. It will be done in time for the grand opening of the plant pic exhibition, on Monday.
As far as I know only real black currant has the heavenly scented leaves, which work in pretty much anything you care to add them to: mead, leaf juice (recipe to follow this summer), bread spreads, cheese sandwich, cucumber pickles... yum for real black currant leaf. If you have a black currant bush crush a leaf and smell it. No scent? Not the real thing. Yum, delicious? That's the bunny.
Black currant has been restricted in the US, and people have bought black-berried golden currant (Ribes aureum) and possibly other species as "black currant" for years.