Gift of the Magi Cyser

Gift of the Magi Cyser
Brew DateJanuary 17, 2015
Yield5 gallons
Original Gravity (OG)1.118
Intermediate Gravity Readings1.004 (Secondary)
Final Gravity (FG)1.004
Estimated ABV*14.9625 %


5 gallons preservative-free apple cider, 11 lbs. honey, 3 cinnamon sticks, 1 teaspoon dried orange peel, 6 whole cloves, and Red Star Pasteur Champagne yeast


This was a recipe from the book Homebrew Favorites: A Coast-to-Coast Collection of More Than 240 Beer and Ale Recipes.

According to Wikipedia a mead made with cinnamon and apples may be referred to as either a cinnamon cyser or an apple metheglin.

Brew Notes

We used a locally sold pasteurized but preservative free apple cider (not apple juice) from Deal’s Orchard in Jefferson, IA. We bought a gallon (12 lbs.) of local pure honey from Moenck Honey Farms in Lehigh, IA. We used 3 of the large hearty cinnamon sticks from the Brewer’s Best brand cinnamon sticks. The orange peel was from an orange we peeled fresh and let air dry.

At day two of primary fermentation there was still no visible signs of fermentation, so we added 3 teaspoons of Fermax yeast nutrient. Within an hour the fermentation was bubbling like mad and continued at the same pace for at least a week and a half!

Tasting Notes

Tasted before transferring to the secondary fermentation (exactly 4 weeks from brew date) and loving it so far! Right off the bat, you can tell it has high alcohol content. The gravity reading before transferring to secondary revealed it was currently just shy of 15 % alcohol. There is a sweetness to the nose like a dry-sweet wine, which must come from the honey (but not sugary sweet). The orange aroma and flavors linger subtly. The cloves and cinnamon are almost undetectable, but they seem to play an important role in the body of the taste and even the after taste. A glass of this definitely has a kick. Can’t wait to try it chilled and even heated. We corked these in clear half size (375 milliliter) Bordeaux wine bottles and added a black shrink-wrap labeling. After secondary the wine cleared up significantly and is a lovely golden honey color. The taste remained about the same after the secondary, but maybe slightly more crisp now that it cleared. A glass of this was good chilled, room temperature, and even heated and mulled with some brown sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves.