This section is from the book "The Steward's Handbook And Guide To Party Catering", by Jessup Whitehead. Also available from Amazon: Larousse Gastronomique.
Honey wine. "In the time of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table, the drink that was prepared for royal use was 'mead.' Mead kept its place at the tables of the rich and the great for a considerable time, and yet for centuries it seems to have fallen quite out of account. It is as little thought of now as nepenthe, the drink of the gods on Mount Olympus; and yet mead, we believe, can be made a very pleasant drink. A continental paper gives a recipe for its preparation. Honey is the sweetening constituent used. Forty to forty-five litres of water are put into a cauldron, with 10 litres honey; boil the mixture for 1 1/2 hours, during which time skim off the scum. The liquid is then put into a cask to ferment for 3 weeks." - "The natives of Madagascar make a honey wine which is composed of three parts water to one part honey. They boil the water and honey together, and skim after the mixture is reduced to three-fourths. It is then put in pots of black earth to ferment. It has a pleasant tartish taste, but is very luscious".
Ten pounds honey, 6 gls. water, few mixed spices; boiled an hour; when cool, some yeast spread on toast put in. When fermentation ceases, the keg bunged up, kept in a cellar; bottled after 6 months.