In which Ricky the Meadmaker answers questions about Brythonic mead, controlling pH, caramelizing honey in an Instant Pot, bulk aging, ultrasonic aging, and more!
Love it or hate it, Thanksgiving is nearly upon us. For the staff of the meadery, the holiday represents a unique opportunity to combine the sacred notions of feasting with the American ideals of overeating and day drinking. To that end, we have assembled a new recipe guide for the holidays!
Everyone on the staff has submitted their favorite drink and food recipe for each stage of the day, and we present them to you with no further comment beyond "please be responsible."
Breakfast (aka The Macy's Day Parade)
This is a good one for your Thanksgiving morning. It comes together quickly, and you can bake it before the oven is monopolized by a turkey the size of Your Entire House. Or bake it the night before; it’ll keep.
A couple of notes about this recipe - As written, this makes a hearty loaf with a crunchy, buttery crust. For a more traditional quick-bread texture with a softer crust, mix the butter into the loaf with your mead, rather than pouring over the top at the end. You can also use whatever mead you’d like for this bread, resulting in a differently flavored loaf at the end of the day. We’ve used Valkyrie’s Choice and Root of All Evil with great results!
3 cups flour
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1⁄4 cup sugar
12 oz of your favorite mead (Room temperature is best, but don’t stress if the kids have been bouncing around the house all gosh darn morning and you forgot to take it out of the fridge. It’ll still be good. Feel free to drink the rest of the can or use it for your Meadmosa. We won’t judge.)
1⁄4 cup melted butter
Preheat oven to 375˚F and grease a loaf pan. Sift dry ingredients together (flour, baking powder, salt, sugar). Pour in mead and mix into dry ingredients until just combined. Transfer into loaf pan. Pour melted butter over the top and bake for 50-60 minutes - or until toothpick comes out clean from the center of the loaf. Let rest at least 15 minutes before cutting. I know, it’s tough, but your bread will thank you for it.
Mead Poached Sausages
Use a mead with an intense flavor like Nordic Farmhouse or Psychopomp.
Poach breakfast sausages in your mead of choice at 160˚F until they are about 140˚F internal temp. Sear them on each side in a nearly-smoking cast iron pan with a little olive oil. Let rest for five minutes - serve!
The idea behind the champagne flute is that it helps you moderate your drinking. It's going to be a long day full of family, so don't burn out in the first lap.
1 Part Guava Juice
2 Parts Orange Juice
1 Part Valkyrie's Choice
Serve in a Champagne Flute
Dinner Prep (aka Watching Football)
Most people don't eat lunch on Thanksgiving, but they do sit around on the couch watching people run into each other. There's also a good chance that all of the heating apperati are being used in your house. These mushrooms can be made a day ahead and are easy to eat in front of the TV or with one hand if you're in the kitchen.
2 lbs Mushrooms
1 tbs. Paprika
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 tbs. Old Wayfarer
Combine all ingredients in a gallon-size resealable plastic bag - shake to coat mushrooms. Allow to sit for two hours, shaking periodically. Place in smoker at 200˚F for three hours.
This is where you focus on your pacing. Slow and steady. Slow and steady.
1/2 Pint of Root of All Evil
1/2 Pint Wild Cider like Arlo from Shacksbury
Dinner (aka The Feast)
Boozy Cranberry Sauce
It's tough to find a recipe that families don't fight over (e.g. "If you're not making great Great Aunt Murial's stuffing, I will literally burn your house to the ground, Jen."), but few people have such strong opinions about cranberry sauce, making it the only recipe we're comfortable sharing.
1 lb fresh cranberries
1 pint Nordic Farmhouse
1 pint Root of All Evil
1 teaspoon orange zest
2 oz black rum
Combine all ingredients, except rum, in a sauce pan and set on the stove for a long, slow simmer. When sauce starts to thicken, stir in black rum and simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Remove from heat and cool for 12 hours or more in the fridge. The final product will have some alcohol, so please be mindful.
You want something that helps you consume 20% of your bodyweight in food rather than getting in the way. While not commonly seen on a Thanksgiving table, we humbly suggest you try this bright gin-based cocktail alongside your dinner. It goes a long way towards cutting through the stuffing and gravy and puts you on a good arc towards dessert.
1.5 oz. Barr Hill Gin
Splash Orange Bitters
Top with Hop Swarm
Garnish with a Lemon Wheel
Ricky's Apple Pie
OK, we know what you're thinking, "But aren't pies the most sacred and controversial part of the meal." Yes they are. So here's our advice: if you make apple pie, instead of using lemon juice to keep the slices from browning, use Buckland mead. It's amazing. The bright, citrusy flavors come through in the final pie, no matter what type you're making, and it has none of the sour bite of too much lemon.
As for the actual pie recipe, we're not getting in the middle of your annual fight with your sister Margaret.
It’s been a long day, but you made it. Now it's the final trot across the finish line. We're so proud of you. Have as many of these as you need.
2 oz. Spiced Rum
Dash Angostura Bitters
Top with Old Wayfarer in a rocks glass
Garnish with a twist of lemon
Everyone have a happy, safe, and glorious feast!
For more cocktail recipes, visit our blog at https://www.groennfell.com/blog/category/cocktails
We're not even huge advocates of eating raw honey, we're just always on the lookout for things that bring people together instead of dividing them.
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Further Reading: Clouds on the Horizon
We have Jake in there for scale. If you want to know how big Jake is, then the tank is in there for scale.
Groennfell Meadery is Vermont’s premier craft meadery. Inspired by Old Norse legends, brewed with extraordinary ingredients, Groennfell’s meads are unlike anything you’ve had before. Crisp, clean, and astoundingly drinkable, the only way to explain any one of Groennfell’s meads is to try one yourself.