Monday, 25 January 2010

Hot Spiced Mead - A Winter Warmer Cocktail

Although the German market in Edinburgh disappeared long ago, the Highland market was around until New Year. When we visited on New Year's Day, we all had sore throats from the partying the night before, as well as sore heads. After some tasty burgers from Well Hung & Tender, we found a stall selling hot mead, which we hoped would be soothing as well as restorative.

It was indeed both, and quizzed the girl behind the counter for the ingredients. Mead, wine, honey, sugar, apple juice and spices were in there, but she wasn't sure of the quantities.

I'd forgotten about it until the other day, when perusing the alcoholic offerings of the local deli in search of something to cheer me up in the darkest days of January. Some mead was purchased, quickly spiced, heated and drunk.

Cinnamon, cloves, star anise, mace.

I left out the apple juice, but reduced the alcohol content by gently simmering the drink for a minute or so before serving. I used a similar selection of spices to that of mulled wine - cinnamon, cloves, star anise and mace. Without the apple juice, I substituted a good squeeze of lemon to make it a bit fruitier. Annoyingly, it was only after I finished drinking that I thought I should have put a shot of Cointreau in there to get a zesty edge to the flavour.

Hot Spiced Mead

Hot Spiced Mead
Serves 1 - but can be easily multiplied to make more, you don't need to add more spices unless you are making more than 4-5 portions.

2.5 ladles of mead
1.5 ladles of white wine
0.3 ladles of sugar
1tbsp honey
good squeeze of lemon juice
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
4 cloves
1 blade mace

Place everything in a saucepan, and stir to dissolve the sugar and honey. Simmer the liquid gently for 30 secs to soften the alcoholic impact (but don't boil it all off!) and serve.


Joy said...

What a treat! A beautiful ancient drink!

Sarah, Maison Cupcake said...

I always think of mead as being something drunk by monks ever since a friend at school kept her PE kit in a white plastic bag emblazoned "Lindisfarne Finest Mead made by monks" in gold lettering.

Sounds like a good alternative to mulled wine!

Linds said...

I love mead and warming and spicing it sounds like a great idea.

I think I might need to try some while this cold is still hanging about.

Great recipe, thanks.