You’ve heard of mulled wine. Now make way for hot spiced mead! Honey wine—packed with health benefits—is the ideal drink to enjoy this winter.
Mead is growing in popularity across the country, thanks in part to popular media like Game of Thrones and Vikings. This honey-based drink is widely believed to be the oldest form of fermented alcoholic beverage. Often referred to as “The Drink of the Gods” in Greek mythology, it’s also widely believed to come with a myriad of health benefits.
Emerging studies show that overall health in Delaware and beyond begins with our gut microbiome—the bacteria living in our gut. A mix of “good” and “bad” bacteria affects everything from inflammatory response to mental wellbeing. Certain foods are known to help cultivate “good” bacteria. Despite its fermentation, there’s not enough research to classify mead as a source of probiotics. Honey—the basic building block of mead—is an excellent prebiotic. In other words, while drinking mead likely won’t rid your gut of “bad” bacteria, it can certainly cultivate the growth of “good” bacteria when consumed responsibly.
Warm mead—similar to a hot toddy or warm water with honey—can also be used as a home remedy. The soothing properties of honey can be found in warm mead. Many people use it to alleviate symptoms of seasonal allergies, the common cold or flu.
In Delaware, two major meaderies offer plenty of infused and flavored meads to put in your kettle. From the sophisticated flavors of spiced and barrel-aged meads to sweet and tart fruit-infused varieties, there are plenty of flavors to try.
Where to Find Delaware Mead
Wilmington’s Liquid Alchemy Beverages offers a mead inspired by Scandinavian glögg—a warm spiced wine spiked with whiskey or rum. Owner Terri Sorantino (a 2023 Delaware Today Top Women in Business honoree) was inspired by her Swedish roots to craft Gloggtoberfest. Through the fall and winter, patrons can sip a version heated in an electric kettle. The meadery also heats the Pucker Up Baby mead for a tart and fruity option. Sorantino recommends heating either flavor over the stove or in an electric kettle with a cinnamon stick or two.
Liquid Alchemy Beverages | 28 Brookside Drive, Wilmington | 438-0252
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The Brimming Horn Meadery in Milton and Seaford also offers plenty of flavors that can be enjoyed warm. A Force of Time, for example, is infused with hibiscus flowers, peppercorns, ginger, saffron and cinnamon. Brimming Horn’s Dark Sorcery mead aged in Hoodoo chicory liqueur barrels is also an option to bring home and heat up in the cold winter months. Notes of sweet honey, molasses, roasted chicory, walnut, oak and coffee make for the perfect sip in the frosty season.
The Brimming Horn Meadery | 28615 Lewes Georgetown Highway, Milton | 664-1188
How to Warm Your Mead at HomeCourse: Cocktail, Beverages
Love a warm cocktail? Try making spice-infused mead from the comfort of your kitchen.
Mead of choice (we recommend spiced or berry varieties)
Additional spices (cloves, star anise, ginger, etc.)
- Grab an electric kettle, teapot or small sauce pan.
- Over low heat, pour in a bottle of mead. (If you’re using an electric kettle, pour in the mead, then turn it on. Don’t allow the mead to boil.)
- Add in cinnamon and any other spices for an extra warm and comforting sipping experience.
- Allow about 15-20 minutes for the flavors to infuse, keeping the liquid below boiling.
- Pour into a toddy mug and serve with cinnamon or star anise to garnish.