Ethiopian Honey Wine: Tej

Ethiopian honey wine is also known as Tej. Tej is a type of mead, which is alcohol made from honey, water and a medicinial shrub called "gesho" (Rhamnus prinides). 

Top Things to Know about Tej:

  • Brewed with honey, water and "gesho" typically in clay pots.
  • Tej is the national drink of Ethiopia
  • Tej is an important part of Ethiopian society, with Tej being consumed during special occasions. 
  • Alcohol content of Tej ranges from 7-11% alc by volume.
  • Tej is a type of mead, traditional mead is made with honey, water and yeast, while Tej uses "gesho" in place of yeast.
  • Ethiopian honey wine is typically sweet.
  • Tej is thought to have originated over 3,000 years ago.

    Tej is made with "Gesho"

    Gesho is used in place of a yeast and consists of Rhamnus Prinides, a plant  the gives a bitter aftertaste. In a traditional mead, yeast is used instead of gesho.

    Quick Recipe for Tej, Ethiopian Honey Wine

    Ingredients for Tej: Ethiopian Honey Wine:

    • 21oz of honey - Use a local, high quality honey (like this one)
    • 5oz of gesho - Here's one from Amazon
    • 63oz of spring water (don't use distilled!)
    • 1/2 tsp of yeast (1.6g) recommend L 47
    • Use a 1 gallon glass jar with a lid
    • Stick to a water to honey ratio of 3:1 (water:honey)

    Steps to Making Tej: Ethiopian Honey Wine

    1. Make sure all your equipment is sterilized, at least with hot soapy water. You can even put your jar and lid in the oven on a baking sheet for 20 minutes at 225F to kill any bacteria
    2. Once jar is cool, mix honey and water, you can use warmer water to ensure the honey dissolves (not too hot, 80 degree or so)
    3. Add yeast and 5oz of gesho
    4. Cover jar, place in dark room temperature space, and wait 3-4 days (it should be foamy!)
    5. If you did add yeast no need for this step, if not open the jar & stir!
    6. Taste after 3 weeks! If not to your liking yet, time heals all, wait another 2-3 weeks before trying.
    7. Strain your mixture and put in an old (clean!) wine bottle or keep in your jar. Enjoy!
    Here's another great recipe for Tej
    Adjust text colors
    Checked mark
    Adjust heading colors
    Checked mark
    Adjust background colors
    Checked mark