On a Cold Winter Day, How About Some Hot Lithuanian Cider? Caraway Cider, Cranberry Cider, Lemon Cider, Midus (Mead), Ancient Lithuanian Honey Drink, Black Bread Cider

2 gallons water
3/4 to 1 cup caraway seeds
1 lb. sugar (honey may also be used)
2 tbsps. fresh yeast
1 lemon

Rinse caraway seeds, add water, cover and simmer 30 minutes (to produce a very strong fragrant caraway tea). Strain to remove seeds, add sugar. Cut lemon into slices, cream yeast with several (at least two) tbsps. sugar and add to liquid, only after it has cooled. If honey is used instead of sugar, the yeast must still be creamed with two tbsps. of sugar.

Cover container with cloth or cheesecloth. Ferment 2 to 3 days at room temperature. Remove foam which forms on top, strain, pour into bottles and cork. Keep in a cool place, like a cellar. Ready to drink in 2 to 3 days (then keep refrigerated).

1 to 1/2 lb. dried black rye bread
2 gallons boiling water
1 lb. honey
1 tbsp. fresh yeast (not dried)
1 tbsp. flour
10 to 12 raisins

Crumble bread, place in bowl and cover with boiling water. Cover tightly. When cooled, strain, add honey, yeast mixed with flour; mix well until honey is dissolved. Keep at room temperature 12 hours. Strain, pour into bottles, add several raisins to each, cork. Ready to drink in 2 to 3 days. Afterwards, keep refrigerated.

2 gallons water
2 lbs. cranberries (fresh or frozen, with no additives or preservatives)
1 lb. sugar
2 tbsp. fresh yeast
10 to 20 raisins

Cover cranberries with water and simmer until berries burst. Crush and strain to remove skins and seeds, add sugar. Cream yeast with 2 tbsp. sugar and add to berry liquid after it is completely cooled, mix well. Allow to ferment 24 hours in open container or covered with cheesecloth. Remove foam from top and strain cider. Pour into bottles, adding several raisins to each. Place in a cool spot, like the cellar. Ready to drink in 3 days. Then keep refrigerated.

Note: Prepared frozen or bottled cranberry juice is not suitable for cranberry cider because the juice contains preservatives which prevent fermentation. Cider cannot be made without fermentation.

4 lemons
1/2 cup raisins
1 gallon boiling water
1 1/4 lbs. sugar
1/2 oz. yeast

Wash and slice lemons, remove seeds. Add rinsed raisins. Pour on boiling water. Stir in sugar. When lukewarm, add yeast dissolved in a little water. When raisins and lemons rise to surface and foam appears, skim top. Strain through cloth, pour into bottles, cork. Place bottles on side in cool place. Ready in two days.

Ancient Lithuanian Honey Drink
2 quarts honey
5 gallons water
1/2 lb. hops
1 slice bread

Measure and pour exactly half of the honey and water into a large kettle. Using a stick, mark on the stick the distance from the top of the kettle to the surface of the contents. Pour in remaining honey and water. Bring to boil. Tie hops in clean cloth, place in kettle. Boil until one-half of the liquid remains (ascertain by using the marked measuring stick). Cool. Strain through several thicknesses of cloth into a barrel or crock. Spread enough yeast on bread to cover thickly. Place bread in liquid. Mead will begin to ferment in 3 days. Strain again, pour into bottles, set in cool spot. Mead can also be stored and aged in barrels (oaken preferably).

General rule about ciders: When cider is poured into bottles, at least 1 to 1-1/2 inches must be left at the top because the fermentation process continues and the cider sometimes pops the cork (occasionally, the bottle itself may explode, especially if the cider is kept in a warm place). Glass bottles are the most suitable for cider.