Oxymel - Bärbucha Fermenterei
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Oxymel, also known as sour honey, is a mixture of vinegar and honey.
The name comes from late Greek, and it is comprised of two parts: "oxos" (vinegar) and "meli" (honey).
It is an ancient medicine, and it was already in use thousands of years ago.
It combines all the benefits of a naturally fermented, raw vinegar and everything that a raw, local honey can give.
Besides, when those two are combined, it makes it much easier to drink the vinegar, as it is sweetened by honey.
Oxymel is traditionally made with Apple Vinegar and Honey, with the addition of herbs, roots, flowers or spices. Those extra ingredients add to the many health benefits that Oxymel offers.
Here's a bit about Oxymel from Saint Charles Apothecary:
"The health benefits and effects of Oxymel
The active acetic acid bacteria of naturally left vinegar from local production (not pasteurised) nourish our beneficial intestinal cells. Cold-stirred honey contains around 200 ingredients, including amino acids, minerals, enzymes and many more. When it comes to honey, you should also look for regional producers and choose unpasteurised honey. This means that sour honey has a particularly digestive, disinfectant, antibacterial, wound-healing and anti-inflammatory effect and also tastes surprisingly good. When choosing herbs, you can use those whose effect you need in sour honey. Particularly recommended are cleansing, metabolism-activating or detoxifying medicinal and natural herbs such as nettle. As Oxymel is rich in antioxidants, it has an antipyretic and soothing effect, strengthens the immune system and detoxifies. Due to its high mineral content, Oxymel is suitable for all people with mineral deficiencies as well as muscle cramps. Especially adults in old age as well as children and adolescents in growth, who have an increased need for vital substances, benefit from this drink. Due to its anti-inflammatory properties, it has a positive effect on rheumatism, gout and arthrosis. It reduces fever, promotes expectoration in the case of coughs and soothes irritations in the case of all stomach and digestive complaints such as heartburn. It is also suitable for athletes as an isotonic drink."
Oxymel can be consumed straight up, right from the spoon, or it can be used as a part of a dressing or a marinade.
An article in Bon Appetit from 2017 gives those suggestions:
"cook with it as you might a sweet-ish vinegar or pickle brine. Let it wake up a salad dressing, savory porridge, or marinade (hi, escabeche). Or take cues from sekanjabin, a popular Persian mint oxymel, and use it as a dip for lettuce or in a very reviving drink with grated cucumber, lime, and some water.
Drink it straight up in tablespoon shots or diluted in sparkling, still, or warm water. Add a spoonful to herbal tea or smoothies. Celery soda maybe? And, of course, cocktails. Marques says it’s great in a White Lady, Daiquiri, Sidecar, or Bee’s Knees. It likes to third-wheel gin and tonic over at my house..."
In the same article, one can find various suggestions for additional ingredients that can be used in Oxymel:
"Oxymel tastes like a honeyed vinegar or a vinegared honey depending on how you make it. Most versions start with raw honey and raw apple cider vinegar and a selection of fresh or dried herbs. Humberto Marques, the bartender at Copenhagen’s Curfew, makes an oxymel with parsley, sage, rosemary, and thyme for his Simon and Garfunkel-inspired Scarborough Fair cocktail (get it?). Geraldine Lavin, the farmer and formulator behind Suntrap Apothecary in Philadelphia, suggests “ginger and garlic to fight off a cold, rosemary for digestion and circulation, chamomile for soothing nerves, or nettles for a mineral-rich tonic.”
Our first Oxymel is a bit different.
Instead of apple vinegar, we have decided to use our honey-based Elderflower Vinegar.
Honey-based vinegar is not as sharp in taste as the apple vinegar. Plus, we did not have to infuse any additional ingredients. This Elderflower Vinegar is very potent (lots of Vitamin C) and it's also super yummy.
For honey, we have used the same honey that goes into our Jun Kombucha. And that is a local, unfiltered, raw honey that we source from our friendly beekeeper from Herzberg, just an hour away from Berlin.
Having those two ingredients, it is just the matter of mixing them in the right proportion and our first Oxymel, our first magic potion, came to life (an archive picture)
And here it is, next to our "Red" Apple Vinegar (another archive picture)
So, how can I use it?
We recommend taking about 1 TBS three times a day.
This Oxymel tastes like a sweet and sour candy, but if it's a bit too strong for your taste, then you can dilute it with a bit in a bit of water, or you can add few drops to a glass of water.
With time, you'll be able to take it as shots, straight up.
So enjoy and to your health!
Our Oxymel is now a staple in our vast offering of fermented foods and drinks.
Here it is during bottling:
And a fished product, ready to be picked up.
If you're fluent in German, we have an excellent book about Oxymel.
"Das grosse Buch vom Oxymel. Medizine aus Honig und Essig" or "The Big Book about Oxymel - Medicine from Honey and Vinegar".
And here's the label.
Ingredients: Raw and Unfiltered Elderflower Vinegar, and Raw and Unfiltered Honey
To buy our Oxymel, please click on the button below: