If you have a genuine interest in understanding more about how to serve mead the right way and identify the different flavors, then you are in luck as we discuss this and much more. When serving mead, you need to be keen on the serving sizes, the aromas you are looking for, and also ensure the temperature is correct.
For you to experience the rich flavors in mead, a large vessel is ideal for serving. It allows the mead to interact with oxygen and decant, giving it many layers of flavors with the top layers containing lighter flavors while the bottom layer has earthy aromas. Therefore, whenever you are drinking mead, ensure you choose the right size of serving vessel. A tankard is the most common traditional mead drinking vessel which is made of either horn, wood or pewter. A stemless wine glass is another very common drinking vessel for mead.
Mead has a higher alcohol content than your regular grape wine and due to health concerns, the American Dietary Guidelines recommends that mead is taken in moderation. Its alcohol content ranges between 5%-20% whereas grape wine contains 12 to 14% alcohol. Excessive consumption of alcohol is harmful to human health and challenges such as systemic inflammation and liver damage are likely to occur. One serving of mead is equivalent to half a glass and going by recommendations on mead intake, women should have at least one serving per day while men can have two servings a day.
Sometimes, the alcohol content and calorie content may be a concern to some individuals and the good thing is that there is a low-ABV mead. Mead has low calories and it’s perfect for anyone looking to lose a few pounds. You can also opt for mead with less sugar if you are concerned about the calories in mead.
Mead has a variety of palatable flavors and you can actually add honey and fruits to it to achieve your desired taste. Some mead flavors are generally dry while others are dessert sweet. Blueberry fruits are used together with honey to make a blueberry-favored mead. It is advisable to drink mead slowly so as to get the full experience.
Despite mead being an ancient beverage, it is steadily gaining popularity in the United States according to the American Meadery Association. Folks are gaining interest in the mead production skill with more people learning about craft brewing and distilling. There are over 500 meaderies in the United States. As the world’s drinking culture continues to evolve, mead is still a delicious beverage and will probably take the center stage soon as more people are interested in the different mead flavors.
There are many health benefits associated with mead consumption. The honey used in its production contains antibacterial and antimicrobial properties hence mead is considered a healthy and safe drink. Mead also promotes better gut health as it contains probiotics, vitamins, minerals, and enzymes too. Mead should be consumed in moderation, however, as it has high sugar content
Mead can be served chilled or at room temperature. The temperature you serve the mead will determine the taste you feel in your mouth. It is recommended to serve regular or sparkling mead at an in-between temperature of hot or chilled. During summer, serve mead around 4 degrees Celsius and 16 degrees Celsius during winter.
Never serve it ice cold, always ensure the water is chilled when serving cold mead, not too warm or too cold. Should be at least 45 to 55 degrees Fanhereit which is not too warm. It is up to you to adjust the temperature as per your liking if you wish to serve mead at a warmer temperature.
To prevent the growth of unwanted bacteria and yeast, mead makers can either use the natural antibacterial properties of honey or heat the diluted honey first before adding yeast. This is advisable if you do not want to interfere with the delicate honey aromas.
The type of mead, whether traditional or heavier and darker mead dictates the temperature it should be served at. The darker and heavier meads must be kept in a refrigerator once opened while the traditional meads are served at room temperature. Some meads can be served warm while others like mulled mead can be served hot. Mead should never be overheated as it will leave an awful taste in your mouth. You can always store your mulled mead in the fridge for a day if you do not want to mull it.
The best serving practice for mead is by serving it from a decanter or glassware that has a wide base and a ribbed neck. This ensures that you are giving your mead some time to breathe before you serve it, allows hidden flavors to get discovered during the aeration process, and makes the mead sweetness containable.
There are a variety of meads available in the market today all with different flavors and you can get to try them out whether you are a wine enthusiast or just a beer drinker. You are assured that you will enjoy the mead flavor you choose.
Flavors To Look For
If you are looking to enjoy your mead drink, there are a few guidelines you can follow to get the best out of it. To begin with, mead is best served at room temperature and always serve from a vessel with a wide base and ribbed neck to ensure aeration of the drink which in turn ensures it releases all the flavors and aromas. Always drink your mead slowly and as you draw in some air. Lastly, depending on your type of mead, you can serve the mead slightly chilled or warm.
During production, the type of honey and other ingredients used contributes largely to the final flavor of the mead. Mead can either be sweet or bitter, have a fruity taste or taste like honey mixed with other flavors, like the sweeter mead taste of hazy summer mead for example. The taste of the fruit used and the fermentation period determines the sweetness of mead.
Due to the large varieties of mead available each with unique flavors, mead is ranked top as a family beverage and dinner drink. The addition of fruits such as ripe summer berries changes the taste which some judges take a keen interest in compared to the whole drink. Sack mead is a sweeter and stronger mead that is made by fermenting honey and adding larger amounts of the honey to mead than usual, allowing for more fermentable sugars. When preparing and serving sweet mead, always take into consideration the ingredients used as they are vital to the final taste and aroma of the mead.
When it comes to pairing mead with food, it can be a daunting task trying to figure out which food goes best with mead. If you look up mead, you will get an idea of what foods to serve with mead if you have a preference or not.
Generally, foods that can stand a noticeable sweetness like cheese are the best to pair with mead. Honey and apple are the main ingredients in mead and sweet desserts are also a great option to pair with mead. If you are having light fruity meads, consider pairing it with lighter dishes and seafood while dark fruit meads should be paired with savory meals such as veal or chicken. You can also do spicy foods if you take fruity meads.
When serving mead, the goal is to have a smooth texture and a balanced taste. It should feel a little bit on the sweet side but with a slight acidity as a result of the action of yeast on honey during fermentation.
Mead or honey wine is a fermented alcoholic beverage made of fermented honey and water as the major ingredients and can be flavored by adding a few ingredients such as fruits and spices. During the brewing process, factors such as the fermentation length, type of honey, yeast, and other ingredients used determine the flavor of the Mead. Mead can either be sweet or bitter, with a honey flavor or none at all.
The aroma in mead is mostly derived from volatile metabolites from yeast which produces the fermenting compound which belong to five different groups. Alcohols accounted for the largest portion of volatile compounds, followed by volatile fatty acids, volatile phenols, and aromatic compounds. Oak is an ingredient used to add color, a woody, vanilla, and toasty aroma to mead but is slightly noticeable in dark-colored meads.
Regular mead and sweet meads have been consumed worldwide from Europe to Asia to Africa since ancient times and are even incorporated in some cultures’ mythologies. The Norse believe mead could awaken the creative side of people and some cultures believe one could turn to a poet upon consumption.
Despite mead being one of the oldest drinks in history, mead mixology is a recently discovered field. If hosting a dinner party or a family get-together, make sure to serve some mead as it can be taken as a dessert, a wine pairing, or a digestive.
Pay attention to the final composition of mead as you identify the different aromas as the components can affect the taste of mead, especially when you drink mead straight. The main components to observe keenly are the sugars and yeast.