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Mulsum

One among the Greeks and Romans in wealthy circles next to the mead as a table drink very popular honey wine. It was lighter and milder than wine, more digestible on an empty stomach, and as Gustatio ( aperitif ) greatly appreciated. For the production of two different recipes have been handed down. The Roman author Columella (1st century BC) recommended to mix the must with honey directly in the winepressure vat, then to pour this mixture into bottles and to refill it after three weeks of fermentation. More usual, however, was not to stir the honey into the must, but only into the finished wine. The heated honey was mixed with good wine, ideally one Falernian, that was the top quality wine at the time. A variant is made by the writer Palladius (4th century AD). Accordingly, the already fermenting grape with honey and then further fermented for a while (so to speak, an early form of the enriching ).

The mixing ratio was 2/3 wine to 1/3 honey or one Sextar (0.55 liters) honey on six sextare cooked must. For Columellas method one took 10/11 must to 1/11 Attic honey and 4/5 wine to 1/5 honey for the usual mixture with wine. To make the Mulsum as durable as possible, the elaborate preparation took up to fifty days. The honey wine was also enjoyed against hoarseness, against jaundice and as a general health promoting beverage. A certain Romilius Pollio, whom the Emperor Augustus personally congratulated on the centenary of his birth (63 BC to 14 AD), asked the question of how old he had become Pliny the older (23-79) transmitted answer: "With Mulsum for the interior and oil for the exterior". Mulsum also recommends the poet as an aperitif Horace (65-8 BC): "Before lavish feasting rinse your intestines with mild Mulsum". See also below Antique grape varieties. Ancient wines and drinking culture,

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