Mead, also known as the “honey wine,” is considered one of the oldest alcoholic drinks. Mead is a separate category of alcoholic beverages from beers and wines, even though it carries wine in the name.
Only three ingredients are involved in the preparation of this alcoholic drink, namely honey, yeast, and water. Honey is the core component in the making of mead, and you can mix in fruits, spices, flowers, herbs, etc., to spice up its flavor.
Due to the industrial revolution, it has become easy to produce other varieties of alcoholic beverages, but because honey synthesis takes time, mead has lost its banality.
However, it doesn’t mean it has vanished from existence, and if you want to know how to drink it the right way, you are at the right place. Here is how;
For starters, look at the poured mead, swirl the drink and take a whiff of it to let your brain anticipate the flavor; finally, take a small sip and ensure it soaks every taste bud on your tongue. After following these steps, enjoy the aftertaste and assess the beverage.
Here we will discuss the right way to drink mead, whether you should take it hot or cold, and whether you should drink it with food or not, so stay tuned for a detailed insight.
How To Drink Mead the Right Way
Drinking mead follows quite the same manner as you drink wine, and it was one of the most popular alcoholic drinks in ancient times.
If you are new to mead, the first step is to try different varieties of mead and select the one that is the right fit for you before thinking of drinking.
1. Looking and Admiring
To enjoy mead for what it’s worth, perform each step like a ritual. Pour a small amount of mead into the glass, twirl it slowly, and observe it layer the glass surface.
Take a top view of your drink to notice the color transition from the sides to the center and to understand the type of honey and ingredients used for the specific variety.
2. Smelling and Anticipation
The scent you will get from your mead is the next step in your ritual. The unique thing about mead is the abundance of aromas, which offer a quirky experience to our sense of smell.
The type of honey also plays a role here, as the bees may extract it from a specific flower, so it may come across as woody, floral, fruity, or any other flavor profile.
Similarly, due to the amalgamation of several herbs, spices, flowers, kinds of honey, and more, a unique scent is attributed to each variety of mead. Try to unravel every ingredient and see what thoughts it triggers in your mind.
Finally, you can start drinking it, but wait; you can’t chug it down like a beer. Take a small sip, let the flavor fill your mouth, swirl it inside and ensure it reaches every corner of your tongue. Let the taste develop, and swallow it.
However, it doesn’t end with a single sip, keep on repeating, and you will notice that with each sip, the flavor builds up, and it will become easy to identify what ingredients are in your mead.
4. Aftertaste and Assessment
The process doesn’t end with tasting; aftertaste plays a significant role as the initial taste compared to the aftertaste of your mead may differ.
That’s where assessment comes in. See if the flavor profiles your brain detected (from taking a whiff) match with the taste, what aftertaste lingers in your mouth, and the most crucial step, i.e., whether you like it.
5. Serving Temperature
If you have come this far, you are more than familiar with the steps on how to drink it, but wait, you can actually drink it both hot and cold.
Drinking It Hot
Nothing better than a hot Mead to warm yourself up during the winter.
However, if you have prepared mead in large quantities for storage, it is best only to heat the serving size you want to drink. Otherwise, the flavor is lost, and so is the quality.
Drinking It Cold
The most loved way of drinking mead is chilled. The best temperature ranges between 50-70 °F (or 10-21 °C) for a cold Mead.
Fruity Meads taste the best when chilled compared to others. So, chill them in the freezer and top them up with ice for a refreshing fruity Mead.
Pairing Mead With Food
Before closing off, you can and should pair mead with your meals. There are two broad classifications when it comes to food and mead pairing.
Strong Meads are better when paired with savory foods, e.g., BBQ, steaks, etc., whereas lighter to medium versions of mead can pair well with almost every food.
However, if you love sweet dishes, then nothing is better than a light mead to pair with them. The sweet flavor of the mead compliments the dessert, and the dessert can be either too sweet or mild; it compliments the sweet mead.
The serving size of the mead depends on the alcohol content in it. The stronger the alcohol, the smaller the serving, and the general serving size ranges between 2 ounces to 12 ounces for strong to light Meads.
Lastly, now you know all the ways there are to drink mead. However, not everyone follows the established rules; not even the ancient people followed them.
There are instances of them chugging down mead and drinking it straight from the bottle.
Nevertheless, to enjoy mead for what it’s worth, take a good glance at the colors of the mead, sniff it to let your brain anticipate its flavor, taste it in small sips, and wait for the aftertaste to kick in.
Also, you can drink it either hot or cold or pair it with savory or sweet foods. Enjoy!