First, there are the people who are simply curious about what mead is. Then there are the people who are curious about every single aspect of what mead can be. It is this latter group that really challenges and excites one as a meadmaker.
As we discussed in the past, a good elevator speech is very important in this industry, but it’s never really exciting to deliver. Sure, it’s fun to be there for someone’s very first glass of mead, but what’s really interesting is when you get a home meadmaker, or someone who’s tried traditional Scandinavian Mead, or a beekeeper, or anyone with really good questions.
At this point you’re probably thinking that we’re going to get into some of these fine interrogatives from our favorite customers. Wrong. Many of the questions we receive are worth whole blog posts unto themselves. No, what we’re going to talk about is the one question that almost all of our dabblers ask: “What’s the right temperature for drinking mead?” It is, almost without a doubt, our most common question.
What follows is an archetypal conversation betwixt Meadmaker Ricky and a customer who we will call Weekend Dabbler.
Ricky: Now, what you have here is not currently available bottled by our company, it’s one of my personal-all-time-favorite-reci…
Dabbler: What’s the proper temperature for mead?
R: Well, different meads are best at different temperatures.
D: What’s a good average temperature for all of them?
R: Different people have different predilections. The owner likes her mead at…
D: No, I mean, like, what’s the traditional temperature for mead.
D: Excuse me?
R: Friend Dabbler, you seem to have some serious misconceptions about the relative ages of mead and refrigeration. It used to be that the best – and only, I should add – temperature for your mead was whatever temperature your bedroom/kitchen/parlor/hut was. It’s only in the last little while that you got to say things like “gosh, I think I’ll have my cream as the iced variety today.” Up until the turn of the last century, if you were lucky enough to have a cellar in addition to your bedroomkitchenparlorhut, then you got to choose between cellar temperature and bedroomkitchenparlorhut temperature, both of which vary regionally and seasonally. So, I’d personally check the weather in Stockholm, a traditional mead enclave, and warm or cool your mead appropriately.
(Here Kelly the Boss steps in.)
K: Fridge or cellar temperature is fine. The most important thing is what tastes good to you. Ricky, please go mop something.