On Saturday, I attended the book signing and mead tasting for Cricket McRae's newest Home Crafting mystery, Wined and Died. I would have attended the signing anyway, but a mead tasting was definitely an added incentive to head to Old Town Fort Collins on a 90+ degree day.
I parked a few blocks away from the book shop and walked through a rockin' Old Town Plaza where I discovered live music, food carts, lots of people and...Ben & Jerry's. A frozen latte made with coffee ice cream kept me cool while I strolled toward Old Firehouse Books for the 2:00 PM signing. I wasn't sure how a frozen latte would affect the mead tasting, but to be honest, I didn't worry about it too much.
Since I've never tasted mead in my life, actually had no idea what it was or how it was made, I (of course) had to soak it all in...in a manner of speaking.
Mead is a fermented drink made from honey and is sometimes called honey wine. Variations on the original recipe call for ingredients from fruits to herbs. These variations have names, such as Pyment, Braggot, or Rhodomel. I tasted a small sample of each bottle Cricket brought with her (for scientific comparison, of course), but all I remember for sure is that the Pyment was very sweet, like a digestif, and the Braggot contained hops. Other variations were flavored with juniper berries, apricot, or raspberry.
When I got home, I did a little more research on the topic. I found a site called Got Mead which looks like a great place for newbie's to hang out. I've copied the basic recipe for an orange/spice flavored mead in the Newbie's Guide section of the website, just in case I decide to give it a try. Anyone know where I can buy a one-gallon carboy?