Gearing Up for a Mead-Filled Summer

COVID-19 might be doing its best to keep you indoors, but Mother Nature doesn’t lie: Summer is fast approaching like a ship sailing into harbor. And even if we’re still quartered within the friendly confines of our homes come anchorage, it’ll be time to pop open the windows, fill up the inflatable pool in the living room (maybe with some towels underneath…), and bust out the cocktail recipe book.

Like a fruit-heavy sangria or a flavorful pinot grigio on a balmy summer day, mead lends itself well to the warmer months. We’ll always support a fine glass of mead on its own; however, if you find yourself hankering for a summer cocktail, guess what? Mead can still be part of the fun.

Here’s a few summer favorites…with a mead-inspired twist.

1. Margarita

The basics: Tequila, orange liqueur, lime juice. Shake or blend with ice and pour into a salt-rimmed glass.

The twist: Substitute a fruit-based mead in place of the orange liqueur. A mead infused with fresh orange flavor is a safe bet, but you can also venture toward other citrus meads. Or give our pineapple mead a shot. Pineapple isn’t a citrus fruit, but the flavor was meant to hold hands with tequila for eternity.

2. Mojito

The basics: White rum, sugar, mint leaves, lime juice, club soda. Combine the mint, lime juice, rum, and sugar into a cocktail shaker. Muddle. Add ice and give it a shake. Strain into a glass and add club soda.

The twist: Mead instead of rum. It works, just as long as you choose your mead carefully. Think flavors that blend well with mint like berries, lemons, and pomegranates.

An additional note: If you find the club soda jeopardizing flavor in your chosen mead, consider using lemonade or ginger ale as alternatives.

3. Spritzer

The basics: Wine (white, red, rosé), club soda, ice. Pour the wine and club soda over ice.

The twist: Can you guess it? Bye wine, hello mead. Spritzers are often light and sweet, so take that into consideration with your choice of mead. You want something that can blend well with club soda, and an additional blast of bitters or lemon/lime juice can’t hurt.

If Pinot Grigio is your typical spritzer wine, give our Big Island Lychee a try.

4. Sangria

The basics: Red wine, brandy, orange juice, triple sec, chopped fruit. Mix with ice and voila.

The twist: Must we even say it at this point? Substitute mead for the red wine! With a variety of fruity flavors, mead was born to play as sangria. When making “meadria,” pay attention to the mead you’re using and blend in chopped fruits accordingly.

If you’re stuck, take a look at this nifty flavor pairing guide.

5. Mai Tai

The basics: Spiced rum, coconut rum, grenadine, pineapple juice, orange juice. Shake with ice.

The twist: The real twist here is that after one of these, you may find yourself wobbling to and fro. But if you’re looking to temper down the alcohol content while still getting a bit of a punch, as well as a robust flavor profile, then leave the rum in the cabinet and take a high-powered mead off the shelf.

Because Mai Tais are known for their strength, a higher ABV mead is appropriate here. Also, where have you had a Mai Tai before? Probably at a beach bar, or on last summer’s cruise. Take this into consideration when choosing your mead. You want something tropical because that’s what will mix well with the other flavors.

Whether it’s by itself or in cocktails, there’s no summer day that can’t be made a little better with mead. Enjoy!