I have the memory, hazy albeit, of sitting on the balcony of the apartment that my friends Sonny and Lara once shared in Mid-City, drinking a bottle of mead with them and Bea, brewed by my friend and future groomsman, Andre.
And goddamn, was it delicious. A bit thick/heavy, spicy, sweet, and a high ABV. In a word: wonderful. That was good while ago, and on my birthday, if I recall correctly.
Well, years had passed, and I had forgotten about it. About a year ago, I think I was reminded of that honeyed wonder when Jack Daniels introduced their Tennessee Honey (this review is spot-on). It’s really good, but it’s hard alcohol – 70 proof vs. the 19 proof mead I buy at the store. It’s hard to drink it in smaller volumes, and is basically now banned from my house. Although, summer is coming up…
But that’s when I remembered mead – when the honey Jack became a problem. I bought some bottles here and there, but the most accessible one that I like best (available at Rouses by the office!) is the Dansk Mjød Viking Blod. It’s heavier like Andre’s mead, and for me just seems to check off all the boxes I like about mead. It’s decent at room temperature, but I think it’s best either warmed a bit – like a brandy – or a bunch, liked a hot mulled drink.
And as I’ve tweeted, there’s not enough mead in the world for me to drink. I think I’ve held on to about 15 of the Viking Blod bottles – and it seems to be a good thing I have. They’re a unique bottle – a heavy ceramic. My father-in-law1 Ken and I plan on starting to brew mead, and these make great bottles.
Also, due to my talking about it, a friend of mine who distills a killer moonshine is brewing mead. His is a much lighter, almost cider-like mead. It’s not my preferred style, but I definitely like it and want to encourage more people to experiment. His is almost like a cider – very light and dry, but it does vary by jar, so it’s always a pleasant surprise. Plus, he’s willing to basically sell it in bulk to my D&D group (and they like it too), so that’s always nice.
Anyways, Ken and I are thinking about what sort of flavors we want ours to have. We will of course use local honey, but want to incorporate some sort of Louisiana feel into the flavor. I’m not sure how to do that, but it will at least be an interesting experiment. We also need to come up with a label / some names. I’d like to do some sort of viking / cajun crossover, like Sven’s Flatboat Mead, Fjørditoulas, or perhaps just Ninth Fjørd. I like Ninth Fjørd, especially because the number 9 is important in Norse mythology. Or, a new suggestion from my friend Rhiannon: Fjørd de Lis.
So Andre, really. Dig up that mead recipe from the days of yore, and send it on over. I’d love to try and re-create it. And of course send you a bottle or two.
1) He’s her step-father, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s close enough and not worthy of the technical distinction.
Fine… calling me out in public seems to be the motivation to have me dusting off the ol’ brew book. Check your email.