The Sweetest Bouquet
by John Donald Carlucci
I'm not a greedy bastard, I only kill once a year.
The Arabs prepared a medicine they called a Mellified Man. Old men would be fed nothing but honey. No water or food; just honey.
After a month, these men would excrete only honey. Death came quickly for these lucky few and their bodies were entombed in dated stone coffins filled with even more honey. After a hundred years, these were opened and the liquid consumed.
After I heard this I thought, why not use this wonderful confection to brew a very special stock of mead? A mead from the best local honey and clearest spring water.
Since mead is considered a wine, I sometimes add a bit of cranberry for a blush.
Oh yes, my mellified man is usually a homeless person I find...someone who will never be missed. On rare occasions, I've chosen a friend or acquittance for this special honor.
After the month of preparation, I force the weakened ingredient into a honey-filled cask. I seal it with the date, and allow the process of liquefaction to complete. One year from the date of sealing, the cask is tapped and the liquid is processed by myself to produce our unique mead.
The rest is discarded into our fine compost heaps here at my vineyard. Waste not want not.
My very special clientele pay handsomely for this extremely limited black label edition. This year, the demand has been so great that I'm considering doubling our output.