Mead is making a comeback. The honey ferment, once beloved by the vikings, was the subject of its own forum in Birmingham earlier this month at the UK’s first dedicated mead and cocktail bar The Vanguard.
Bar owner Sam Boulton teamed up with Lyme Bay Winery, which produces seven styles of mead in the UK, with the aim of reviving this long dormant category.
Bizarrely enough, over in America the resurgence is already underway, as fans of Game of Thrones reach for the same drink as their favourite characters. The Brits aren’t quite as easily swayed by the show, however, and replicating this success is set to present some challenges.
‘Often, there just isn’t the fundamental understanding around the product,’ said Martin Litt, from Lyme Bay Winery. ‘Mead is made from fermented honey rather than apples or hops, which means it’s not just a new product for the market; it’s a whole new category.’
So just how is the mead forum planning to get mead back behind bars? Boulton believes cocktails are the answer. ‘The wild flavour combinations and the deep, honey body of meads makes them an ideal addition to creative cocktail recipes,’ he said.
He has come up with classic twists such as a Rhubard Mead Negroni and Mead Espresso Martini to demonstrate the versatility of the category.