Mead, the world’s oldest alcoholic drink, is making a comeback and English Heritage has teamed up with The Vanguard Bar in the Jewellery Quarter, the UK’s first Cocktail Bar & Meadery, to create three new mead cocktails, Honeyed Gin Old Fashioned, Monks’ Fizz and Ye Olde Hot Tod.
English Heritage, the UK’s largest retailer of mead, announced it sells a bottle of the ancient tipple every 10 minutes with sales rising by 10% year on year for the past three years. For those yet to experience the drink, the charity will be offering a free sample to enjoy at its sites this winter as part of its Enchanted events.
Once the Vikings’ drink of choice, mead’s steady rise in popularity has also gained it a new following – who are putting a modern twist on the extremely old classic. Forget your flagons, modern mead drinkers prefer the 9,000-year-old beverage served in a cocktail glass, over ice and with an orange zest garnish.
With his Meadery opening earlier this year, Samuel Boulton, Managing Director at The Vanguard, has seen mead taking off with a younger generation: “As one of the world’s oldest alcoholic drinks, mead has sometimes had quite an old world reputation, but we’ve seen that dramatically change over the last five years. With the success of Game of Thrones, as well as the rise in popularity of experimental cocktails, you could definitely call mead the new up and coming drink and our customers really enjoy that historical throwback with the modern twist.”
Cameron Moffett, English Heritage Collections Curator, said: “There’s evidence of mead being consumed thousands of years ago and it was the power drink of ancient Europe before winemaking had developed. New research into English Heritage’s collections from Wroxeter and Hadrian’s Wall shows that mead was being made in the Roman period in Britain. It’s wonderful that this very old drink is now being discovered by a whole new generation.”
Create your very own version of these mead cocktails, or for the expert touch visit The Vanguard Bar.
Honeyed Gin Old Fashioned
50ml Cotswold Distillery 1616 Aged Gin
50ml Heritage Mead
1/2 Tsp caster sugar (or 10ml Sugar Syrup)
Add all ingredients to a short glass with ice and stir until sugar is dissolved, adding more sugar to taste if needed. Garnish with some orange zest.
40ml Heritage Mead
40ml Fresh Squeezed Orange Juice
75ml English Sparkling Wine
Add ingredients to a champagne coupe glass and garnish with a cinnamon stick.
Ye Olde Hot Tod
50ml Heritage Mead
75ml Hot Water
1 tsp Runny Honey
3 tsp Lemon Juice
Add all ingredients to a warm glass mug mixed until honey is dissolved and garnish with Star Anise & Cinnamon.