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
- 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
- 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)
- Add yeast and 5oz of gesho
- Cover jar, place in dark room temperature space, and wait 3-4 days (it should be foamy!)
- If you did add yeast no need for this step, if not open the jar & stir!
- Taste after 3 weeks! If not to your liking yet, time heals all, wait another 2-3 weeks before trying.
- Strain your mixture and put in an old (clean!) wine bottle or keep in your jar. Enjoy!