Drinking Horns have become increasingly popular in recent years with the Game of Thrones and Vikings TV series.
But of course, drinking horns should be sealed before you drink from them. However, in some cases, you can purchase an unsealed one. On the other hand, the sealant could have worn off from regular use.
Although it is advisable to buy a horn that is already sealed, this should not deter you if you can source an unsealed horn as you can always seal it yourself.
This article will be for those who have bravely purchased an unsealed raw horn, or if you need to reseal your sealed Viking drinking horn.
Below are some different methods you can use to seal or reseal your prized possession.
Salad Bowl Finish
Putting a barrier between your drink and the surface of the horn will keep off unpleasant taste and smell. Salad bowl finish is a thin liquid resin that should carefully be applied to the horn.
It is readily available in home improvement stores and is easy to use. Apply the salad bowl finish using a foam bottle brush to every part of the surface.
Once applied, it should hang and be left to cure for at least 12 hours.
In some instances, the method is known as ‘Butcher Block’ and it should be done at least once a year for proper maintenance of your drinking horn.
This is a great method to use if your horn is exclusively for hot drinks. You have an assurance that there will be no off-flavors when this is done.
The only downside is that it needs reapplying, and you will need to check it for wear. It should be applied annually if the horn is to remain sealed.
Beer or Hard Liquor
Did you know you can seal your drinking horn using hard liquor or beer? This is one of the trouble-free methods to use. High-proof liquor and dark beer are the best to use.
Take the drink and pour it into the horn up to the brim. It should be left to settle for about seven days. It will be sealed by the time a week elapses.
The advantage of using this method is that it is not only easy to do, but it also reduces unappealing flavors. It is also cheap to use and excellent for cold liquids.
Despite it being a good method, it tends to have some cons. It is not ideal for someone who has issues with gluten. The sealant is also not fit for hot beverages, thus, you should not take coffee, hot water, or tea using the hard-liquor sealed horn.
Also, you will be required to apply the sealant at least once a month. The reason is it wears off fast and especially if you regularly use the horn.
There may also be problems with staining the horn surfaces.
Food Grade Epoxy
Although it is a complicated process, it is one of the best. Whether you want to seal a horn for cold or hot drinks, this sealant is perfect.
Regardless of the temperature of the drink, you will not have issues with the flavor. Although it is pricey, the best thing is, it does not wear off. This means you will not need to reapply it, unlike many other methods.
Once the entire interior of the vessel is covered, hang it out to dry. Make sure that you give it 12 hours to dry out, and to fully cure, allow 24 hours.
If you are doing it at home, ensure you have protective gear, and you protect the floor and other surfaces. This sealant will not come out if it touches anything.
It builds a reliable barricade between your beverages and the horn material. This labor-intensive sealant is expensive but worth it.
It is one of the most popular methods of sealing drinking horns. One reason it is popular is its ease of use.
The amount of beeswax needed will be conditional on the size of the horn. The bigger it is, the more sealant will be needed.
Once the right amount of the sealant is melted, it should be poured into the horn. Confirm that every part of the surface is covered. For it to last longer, apply a thick layer.
It should be hung upside down for it to dry out. Ensure the wax is not overheated since it can be dangerous when too hot. Also make sure you protect surfaces that you do not want to wax.
Avoid using your beeswax-sealed horn with hot beverages, as the finish will be stripped off which can result in unpleasant flavors and off-smells.
Beeswax is an all-natural sealant however, requires regular reapplication about once every month. The other downsides is that it is only fit for cold drinks.
Why Should You Seal Your Drinking Horn?
There is every reason sealing your horn is a priority. The sealant separates the horn material from your drink, and you will not experience an odor or taste from the natural horn.
The experience of odd flavor may not be pleasant if it is not what you are looking for. In ancient times this was not a problem, but it can be uncomfortable to some.
As you choose your sealant, make sure it is what you need. It will be determined by whether your horns are for hot or cold beverages or both.
Despite the authentic Viking experience that you get from an unsealed horn being unique, you may not enjoy your drink.
Sealing your drinking horn is crucial if you are to prevent off-flavors and smells. If by any chance you buy a horn that is yet to be sealed, make sure it is done before you start using it.
It is only after this that you should pour your drink into it. Drinking from a raw horn may not be what you are looking for, thus, get it sealed.
Even when you purchase a sealed one, you may require to reseal it often, especially if it was sealed using a method such as beeswax. Whenever reapplication is due, make sure it is done before it is too late.
With this, you will not have to deal with unpleasant flavors and smells. Also, get to understand the sealant to be used for hot and cold drinking horns.
Without sealing the inside of the horn, you may not enjoy your drink and suffer a poor experience.