Mulled Mead Warm-up

on Tuesday, 21 February 2012. Posted in Winery Blog

Not just for Holidays

Mid-winter in Maine can be cold and damp at the same time. Especially along the coast. Not a combination that can be endured cheerfully without recourse to a hot beverage that has spirit lifting potential. My very favorite is hot spiced mead. 

Mulling mead is so simple, quick and warming that it should be part of every cooks repetoire. The trick to enjoying this winter warmer is to have the ingredients and a few simple tools ready when you need some core warming pleasure. A great mead to start with is my R. Nicoll not so Dry. It's made with my own wildflower honey and then sweetened lightly with extra honey so it's ready to mull right from the bottle. Pour 6-8 ounces of mead per person in the top of a double boiler. Place one half teaspoon of your choice of mulling spices per cup of mead into a tea filter bag such as the T-sac #1 size. (I personally enjoy Gryffon Ridge Silk Road Mulling Spices.) It will hold enough spices for at least 1 bottle of mead. Close the T-sac by folding the top a few times and then making two slight tears at the closure to hold it. (photo below) Place the spice packet in the double boiler with the mead. Make sure there is water in the bottom of the pot and then turn the heat on low. Place the cover on the top to trap and return any steam to the wine. Gently heating the mead will help to slowly release the volitile oils and other flavor components in the spices. Do not let the wine get above 180 F. That means no simmering, and absolutely no boiling! When the mulling is to your peasure, ladle or pour the mead into pre-warmed mugs. Enjoy!

Experience will help you judge the correct amount of spices and the degree of sweetness that you like. Use more or less of the spice mixture to suite your taste and adjust the sweetness by adding honey as you see fit. Additional flavors such as fresh organic orange or lemon zest, and extra cinnamon or vanilla can really help one forget the cold and damp!



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