Sticky Rogers: the first taste! And some festive Mead-ieval treats

What better way to finish my Mead-ieval Quest than to have a first taste of my very own home-brewed medieval mead, Sticky Rogers? Yes, the time has come to taste him for the first time to get an idea of what he’ll be like when he’s finished maturing a few months from now.

But first, I’ve been playing around with mead in cocktails, and two of them are so good I really wanted to share them with you. You can make these drinks with any mead of your choice, but being the festive season, I used English Heritage’s Christmas Mead. Each recipe makes enough for one glass, so double up for two. So here’s to a very meady  Christmas, and these special mixes are really worth a whirl:

Monk’s Fizz

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Monk’s Fizz – a festive treat

This recipe is courtesy of English Heritage, and I’d like to thank them for introducing me to a fabulous twist on a Bucks Fizz. It takes the traditional champagne cocktail to a whole new level, and now I’ll never look back. From this year on, this is what I’ll be drinking on Christmas morning:

40ml mead of your choice
40ml Freshly squeezed orange juice
75ml Prosecco, Champagne or any Sparkling wine

Add all the ingredients to a champagne flute and garnish with a cherry or a cinnamon stick. Forget sipping this with any finesse because you won’t be able to.  This is a clink and drink fast cocktail. Heavenly.

Ragnar’s Revenge

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The ultimate hot toddy – Ragnar’s Revenge

In honour of our Viking forebears, this is a mead-based hot toddy that is guaranteed to chase away the winter chills. It’s a warm, meady punch that’ll blow your socks off. Vikings, of course, were early medieval pirates, so this warming glass of seasonal cheer mixes mead with a dash of rum as a nod in the direction of the pirates of later times. Garnish it with a cinnamon stick and take a seat by the fire, and you’ll be sitting beside me in those glowing mead halls. When it comes to this special drink, there’s only one word to say: Skol!

75ml hot water
1 good teaspoon runny honey
50ml mead of your choice
10-15ml rum
3 teaspoons lemon juice

Put the hot water in a handled glass or goblet of some kind and dissolve the honey in it. Add the remaining ingredients, stir well and garnish with a cinnamon stick. Light the fire and enjoy!

…and, at last, Sticky Rogers!

Now for the moment we’ve been waiting for, the grand unveiling of my own medieval recipe orange mead, Sticky Rogers

You may remember that I said I had one more thing to do to him before we opened a bottle (one of seven the demijohn yielded!). Well, that one thing was a suitable label… so here we are – Ta dah!

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Sticky Rogers in all his glory! The photo is of my favourite Viking, Ragnar Lothbrok, who I’m really rather partial to…

Yes, we opened a bottle today, and we weren’t disappointed. Of course, he will benefit from another few months maturing in his bottles, but the initial tasting gave us some enticing glimpses of great things to come. In appearance he’s ended up a clear, golden hue, rather like English Heritage’s Christmas or Heritage meads. And as to the flavour – I reckon he’s going to be pleasantly medium-dry, and there’s a real sense of the orange and raisins that stayed with him all those weeks in the fermenter, and of course, a nice hint of honey. I really think we’re in for a treat in the late spring when he’s fully developed. In the meantime, I can truly say I’m thrilled to have taken just a few basic ingredients and created a real medieval drink, just as our ancestors did all those centuries ago. What a way to connect with the past.

So as I raise a glass of Sticky Rogers to all my followers and visitors, I’d like to thank you for joining me on this fun and boozy Quest. Thank you for wandering through the great mead halls and delving into all the wonderful stories with me, and for joining the tasting sessions as I sampled the huge number of variants available. I hope I’ve shown that there really is a mead for everyone out there. And I’ve really enjoyed discovering how mead is made, both professionally and, of course, in my own little kitchen as we all watched Sticky Rogers take his own unique form.

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Raising a goblet of Sticky Rogers… Merry Christmas!

And now I’ll take a short break from blogging for the festivities and while I go in search of more medieval adventures, so in the meantime I wish you all a very Merry, Mead-ieval Christmas, and see you again in 2020…