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.
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.
* * *
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.