Honey Mead

My honey brought me a honey mead!  He actually took the time to hunt down a mead so I could make the soap I’d been longing to make for a couple of weeks.  The only ingredients I was lacking was the mead, but I simply hadn’t had the time to hunt down a place that sold a good quality mead.  Not only did he bring me some,  he brought home three different flavours! One was a real hoot from a company in Michigan.  B. Nektar makes several flavours in their distinctive brand, and he brought Zombie Killer with Cherry, and another one of theirs, Orange Blossom Honey Mead and yet a third that was from another company, Fox Hill Meadery in Marshall, NC, that was also a honey mead but flavoured with apple.  I can’t wait to taste them as I’ve found I like that unique flavour of a well-wrought mead, but a small part of the Orange Blossom Honey Mead was destined for humbler things.

I cooked as much of the alcohol out as possible in a portion of the Orange Blossom Honey Mead this afternoon as soon as I got home from work, then chilled it down in the fridge while prepping everything else.  I didn’t use full mead with the lye as it can be a bit temperamental, so I used a partial mix about 2/3 water, 1/3 mead.  Still it’s there and will be luscious in the soap once it’s usable.  The sugars in any wine, mead is particularly nice, will enhance the bubble factor in your soaps.  If you don’t have wine, try adding just a tiny bit of confectioners sugar to your soap oils prior to adding the lye.  Very nice!

Orange Blossom Honey Mead from B. Nektar.  Ferndale, MI
Orange Blossom Honey Mead from B. Nektar. Ferndale, MI

Straight from the bottle the mead is perfectly clear, with a slight sparkle to it. A  sweet scent, slightly tart like a mead can be, but not overly so with this one as it’s more towards the sweet end of the scale.  I have not taste-tested it yet as it’s been at room temp most of the day.  I’m chilling it now so it can be tasted later, but the other two have been chilling since yesterday, so I’ll probably try them out tonight with supper. You can find these meads at B.Nektar or click here .

I’d purchased a fragrance some time ago from my fragrance supplier called Orange Blossom Honey, then heard something about mead being flavoured with various florals, fruits, or berries and thought a mead would be a nice addition to this fragrance oil.  The trouble was, I’d set my sights on one particular brand and couldn’t find that one anywhere in our area.  Pouting and sulking ensued, so the mead soap was put on the back burner and the in walked hubby with the perfect one for Cindy’s fragrance oil.  With their names being nearly identical this was a match that was destined to be.  The Orange Blossom Fragrance Oil behaved beautifully and can be found here .  It will discolour to a medium to dark tan or brown depending on your soap formula.  I prefer to use a stabilizer when FOs discolour, so maybe that will be averted , though it’s impossible to permanently stop it from darkening somewhat.  In the bottle this FO has a homey, warm, honey-sweet scent  and that alone is the note I find in it when smelling straight from the bottle.  Over time on a paper tests strip, the underlying notes of mandarin can be subtly detected, but it’s faint.  Still this is a soaper-friendly scent to use for those soaps, lotions or other bath & body applications that you and your customers will love to pick up again and again.

My recipe included some babassu oil, which always, no matter what else is in there, speeds up the firming of the soap batter, so I had to work quickly.  The babassu was the sole reason for the need for speed.  I’ve used it before, in the Apples & Spice and it did the same thing then too, but it’s so worth it in the end with the rich creamy lather that’s stupendous in  showers or baths, especially in poufs!  A bar soap  can be used with a pouf, just wet the pouf thoroughly and rub around on the bar til the lather reaches the level you like.  It won’t take long!  I’m hoping the swirl turns out to my liking, so we’ll see how they look maybe tomorrow morning, or later this evening.  I can’t wait too long because it’ll be too hard to cut, thanks again babassu! Still worth it.

Two colours were used in addition to some titanium dioxide (also used in hopes of preventing too much darkening) – Peach Sunset Mica from The Conservatorie and a bronze mica I purchased from a fellow soaper.  It’s a beautiful brownish base with this dazzling bronze sparkle that shines and glistens in the light.  The tops were textured and dusted with a couple of glitters one was Glistening Gold and the other was Celestial Sun glitter from TKB.  It’s amazing how far a sample of theirs can go!

Here’s the lovely wet soap shots just before it went int to chill out a while….

Honeymead - closeup
Honeymead – closeup

 

loaf view Honeymead
loaf view Honeymead

 

 

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