From its well-documented appearances on the all-conquering Game of Thrones TV series to a general growing interest in traditional food and drink, there are many reasons why mead – according to some, the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage – has enjoyed a resurgence in recent years.
We’re going to devote this article to sharing a few ideas about how to incorporate this delicious, honey-flavoured drink into some fantastically summery cocktails, but check out our previous post which is loaded with mead facts you probably didn’t know! With the pubs still closed, we’ve all had to become DIY mixologists recently and, as you’ll see, this has given us the chance to expand our horizons and create some truly imaginative tipples. Enjoy!
Lugger Rum (45ml)
Orange bitters (2-3 dashes)
Coconut water (to top; sparkling if you can find it)
Pineapple ring (1)
If you like getting caught in the rain (or even if you don’t), then this cocktail is sure to appeal.
1) Mix together the mead, rum and bitters with some ice in a shaker, then do your best cocktail barman impression (we suggest growing a trendy moustache, putting on a waistcoat and looking oddly severe as you give it all a good shake).
2) Put a few ice cubes into a small tumbler and pour your mixture into it.
3) Top up the glass with the coconut water and place a pineapple ring on top.
Black Cherry Mead (45ml)
Angostura bitters (2 dashes)
Orange peel (3 inches)
Honey syrup (2tbsp) – make this first by combining quarter of a cup each of honey and water in a saucepan and heating gently for one minute. Then, strain it through a sieve and pop in the fridge while you prepare your other ingredients.
The addition of mead puts a very interesting spin on this timelessly sophisticated American cocktail. Sipping it as you recline in the summer sun will make you feel like you’re a Viking-era Frank Sinatra…possibly.
1) Put the orange peel, bitters, honey syrup and blackberries in a small tumbler. Then mix everything up well with a stirrer or spoon, making sure that the blackberries are well and truly mashed before moving onto the next step.
2) To finish, add in the mead, bourbon, a splash of water and one ice cube. Take your spoon again and swirl the mixture around for 30 seconds or so before it’s ready.
Traditional Mead (20ml)
Lyme Bay Dry Gin (60ml)
Honey syrup (1.5tbsp) – see how to make in ‘Blackberry Mead-Fashioned’ recipe above.
Lemon juice (10ml)
We have to be honest with this one and admit that the recipe originated at the iconic Gramercy Tavern in New York, which is (in normal times) one of the Big Apple’s finest locations for enjoying delightful cocktails and elegant meals. Seeing as travelling to the source isn’t exactly straightforward at the moment, however, why not try our lockdown-friendly, DIY version instead? You’ll be pleased to know that it’s very easy to make.
1) Fish out your cocktail shaker from the back of the cupboard, dust it off, then fill it with ice and all the other ingredients.
2) Shake it all up, strain and serve – if you happen to have one, this cocktail is best served in a classic Martini glass.
Fruity Mead Cocktail
Garden Mead (25ml)
Apple juice (to top)
Green apple (1)
We all know how important eating healthily is for our general wellbeing – now more so than ever – and, with that in mind, why not have a go at this flavourful and fruity cocktail which also sneaks in a couple of your five-a-day? That’s our excuse for making it, anyway…
1) Add all but one of the blueberries, half the chopped apple, the mead, gin and honey to your cocktail shaker and shake away.
2) Pour the mixture into a large, chalice or goblet-style glass, if you have one.
3) Top with apple juice and garnish with the remaining blueberry and a slice of apple.
We hope that the recipes we’ve shared above have encouraged you to start getting creative with mead – in our opinion, one of the finest (and most surprisingly versatile) alcoholic drinks going.
As usual, we’d love to hear if you have any of your own ideas about how to incorporate this ancient beverage into a contemporary cocktail, so do please let us know via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook if you think any of your experiments are worth trying! Happy mixing and stay safe.