Mead, what is it, what to do with it?
As the first commercial Meadery in Oklahoma (our mead list
)we get asked lots of questions about mead, so here are a few answers with the hope of peaking your interest even more.
The number one question “What is Mead?” Looking for a short history, look here
How does one serve mead? For over 2000 years mead has been a drink with many ways to serve it. Mead's attractiveness comes from its tradition, simplicity, and versatility; believe it or not there are many ways to serve and enjoy it not just walking around a Renaissance Fair. So have fun trying them all.
Mead Served Hot
In Ireland, a traditional way to serve mead is hot, in pottery mugs. There are several ways hot mead can be served, similar to hot cider.
One might try:
heat with nothing added, the sweetness of the mead is enhanced by the heat
add cinnamon or use a cinnamon stick to stir in the serving mug
adding rum makes an interesting toddy
making a dessert drink try adding a cube of raw sugar and stir with a cinnamon stick
allowing thin half-slices of a large orange too steep in the wine before pouring makes a delicious hot cocktail beverage and serve with roast chicken or roast pork.
Mead Served Cold
As a light wine, mead is good served cold:
chill (it should be cool to the touch)pour into glasses of the chilled wine; this will compliment all meat and fowl courses, and most fish
adding a twist of lemon to the serving glasses makes it a surprising complimentary accent.
Mead at Room Temperature
Open and pour, perfect way to taste the honey in the mead.
Mead suggests Food Pairings
Mead + Food=Wonderful:
chicken, garnish the wine glass with fresh cut orange, cherry garnish or tangerine
lamb, garnish the wine glass with fresh lemon, or, add a sprig of mint (or both)
pork, garnish the wine glass with fresh orange, melon, or tangerine
beef, garnish the wine glass with thin slice of apple or place a strawberry in the glass
vegetarian dishes, garnish the wine glass with a thin slice of pear or apple
desserts, add a teaspoon of a fruit liqueur and garnish with mint sprig or cinnamon stick
turkey drumsticks, smoked ( like one purchases at Renaissance Fairs).
Mead as a Cocktail or Party Wine
serving it hot , or cold, on the rock, with or without garnishes, it is a creative and tasty ingredient for wine highballs, spritzers, and sangrias
substituting mead for recipes that call for wine for a heady punch
adding it to vodka, rum, or gin with a cocktail mix for an original mixed drink.
However you choose to serve mead as a drink, beware of this beguiling and seemingly innocent nectar of the gods. Real mead should carry 14 to 15 percent alcohol content. Add that to its honey base, and it can carry clout for the uninitiated.
Mead in Cooking
The following are some applications that work well:
use in basting roast fowl and pork;
recipes calling for white wine will do well with mead;
marinate fresh fruit;
add to dessert sauces;
use in salad dressings and marinating recipes.
Using your imagination with this mead can lead to some new creative dishes.
I personally feel the best way to serve mead is by serving pitchers of it on the dining room table with garnishes added or not in pitchers; pour for guests hot, straight chilled or over ice. It is a dramatic and charming touch to social gatherings.
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