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Poem: "Bottled Sun" - The Wordsmith's Forge
The Writing & Other Projects of Elizabeth Barrette
ysabetwordsmith
ysabetwordsmith
Poem: "Bottled Sun"

This poem came out of the August 20, 2013 Poetry Fishbowl.  It was inspired by a prompt from wyld_dandelyon.  It also fills the "healing" square in my card for the Origfic Bingo fest.  This poem is posted as the second freebie based on elisem as a new prompter and donor.  It belongs to the series One God's Story of Mid-Life Crisis.


Bottled Sun


It turned out that there was much more
you could do with alcohol
than drink it to forget your cares.

The bottle angel talked about mead,
which was fermented honey,
which was more or less bottled sun.

Then there were the melomels,
mead flavored with fruit,
like the pinkish rhodomel
brewed from rosehips and petals
that somehow made Trobby's gums stop bleeding.

There were the metheglins,
mead flavored with herbs and spices,
like the digestive one with cinnamon and ginger
that could soothe an upset stomach.

Plain mead, and some of the flavored ones,
you could drink by the mug,
but the medicinal ones had a stronger taste
and were meant to be served in tiny cups
rather than consumed for pleasure in large quantity.

It was part of that moderation thing
the bottle angel was always going on about --
enough to warm the mouth and the senses,
but not enough to make anyone really drunk.

Shaeth watched Trobby
sipping a cup of rhodomel
and wondered if this could be made to work.

If nothing else,
the recipes for metheglin
would give Shaeth something to talk about
the next time he visited Abredin the Herb Goddess.

* * *

Notes:

Mead is an alcoholic beverage brewed from honey.  A melomel is mead flavored with fruit.  Rhodomel is made with rosehips and/or rosepetals.  A metheglin is mead flavored with herbs and/or spices.  Alcohol in mead acts as a preservative for other ingredients, allowing them to be used at times when they may not be available fresh.  This was especially valuable in historic times when many medicines were brewed with alcohol and herbs.

Rose hips and petals have therapeutic benefits.

Cinnamon and ginger are herbs that aid digestion.

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11 comments or Leave a comment
Comments
From: technoshaman Date: August 26th, 2013 02:02 pm (UTC) (Link)
I see what you did there! Rose hips are very high in Vitamin C, which is curing Trobby's scurvy... citrus fruits are hard to come by in villages such as this... but roses grow many places. Good idea to put them in mead, where they can stay potent through long winters... alcohol has long been a method of extracting beneficial essences from herbs. Often it's vodka or neutral grain spirits, but I *like* the idea of using mead... something sweet to temper the often-bitter taste of medicine.

There is a place somewhere in ... Idaho? On the dry side of the Pacific Northwest, in any event.. that makes a large variety of meads... I should go fetch a couple bottles, given the season...
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 26th, 2013 06:38 pm (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

>> I see what you did there! Rose hips are very high in Vitamin C, which is curing Trobby's scurvy... citrus fruits are hard to come by in villages such as this... but roses grow many places. <<

Exactly.

>> Good idea to put them in mead, where they can stay potent through long winters... alcohol has long been a method of extracting beneficial essences from herbs. Often it's vodka or neutral grain spirits, <<

Brandy is another favorite.

>> but I *like* the idea of using mead... something sweet to temper the often-bitter taste of medicine. <<

It makes sense.

>> There is a place somewhere in ... Idaho? On the dry side of the Pacific Northwest, in any event.. that makes a large variety of meads... I should go fetch a couple bottles, given the season... <<

Good idea.
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: August 27th, 2013 03:03 am (UTC) (Link)
"I should go fetch a couple bottles"...

Yes, please!
mdlbear From: mdlbear Date: August 27th, 2013 03:02 am (UTC) (Link)
Mead is Good Stuff -- I like mine on the dry side. Back in my SCA days I got some really good mead from time to time. And one amazing ginger beer.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 27th, 2013 03:07 am (UTC) (Link)

Yes...

We stopped at a faire this weekend and got some truly spectacular root beer. Almost completely flat (more than just homebrew soda is less fizzy than commercial) but amazingly complex flavor -- sassafras, licorice, bitter and sweet notes. I rather suspect it was a traditional multi-flavor soda recipe rather than straight-up modern root beer.
(Deleted comment)
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: August 28th, 2013 05:16 pm (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Not everybody likes the same things. I think mead is nice.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: January 3rd, 2014 04:58 am (UTC) (Link)
I bet it depends hugely on all sorts of variables that people don't always control, or know about.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 3rd, 2014 05:03 am (UTC) (Link)

Well...

Pure mead is pretty consistent, delicate and golden, almost more of a sunny texture than a flavor. Some people just don't like it. Now metheglin is mead made with spices, while melomel is mead made with fruit; and those can vary quite a lot in flavor.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: January 3rd, 2014 06:59 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Thanks for the info.

I was thinking of home brewing, but maybe you've covered that.
ysabetwordsmith From: ysabetwordsmith Date: January 3rd, 2014 07:14 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

Well, if you do a lousy job, any homebrew can come out bad. But mead isn't as fussy as some other things. I've had some truly splendid homebrew -- our latest find was a downright symphonic root beer, but I've had beer flavored with herbs, dandelion wine, watermelon wine, mead, all kinds of stuff. Honey is almost pure sugar. If you're using an ordinary type of honey -- clover, wildflower, apple blossom -- then it comes out pretty consistent. Now if somebody used exotic honey you'd get some different notes. Sage or buckwheat might make rougher mead.
thnidu From: thnidu Date: January 3rd, 2014 08:23 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: Well...

thanks!
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