London bar champions mead in cocktails

Mead Feast reverend jw simpsonLondon bar Reverend JW Simpson is joining the rediscovery of the ancient British drink, mead, with a cocktail class dedicated to the honey-based liquor.

The bar in Fitzrovia already offers cocktails using mead as part of a mission to reintroduce it to the public, such as the Mead Feast (pictured) which combines mead with basil, honey, quince liqueur, lemon juice and bitters.

At a one-off master class on November 13, head bartender Dino Koletzas will demonstrate how to rediscover mead’s complex flavours and use them to create beautiful, delicate and delicious cocktails.

It is part of an ongoing series of master classes called Spirited Sermons run at the bar aimed at London’s cocktail enthusiasts and featuring ingredients that are rare and unused, forgotten and overlooked. Future sessions are on sherry on December 11 and port on February 12.

Mead, which is made by fermenting a solution of honey and water, is considered to be the oldest alcoholic drink in the world, pre-dating beer and wine.

This year has seen the launch of the new Gosnells Mead, produced in London by Tom Gosnell using orange blossom honey, as well as mead appearing in cocktails at bars such as Oskar’s Bar at Dabbous in Fitzrovia.

In December, Mr Fogg’s bar in Mayfair, London, will conjure up the world of Dickens’s Christmas Carol by serving mead alongside a Wassail Punch and mulled wine and cider.

In May this year, Thames-side Northbank Restaurant & Bar in the City of London launched Mead Mondays where people enjoy a selection of meads along with Cornish finger food.

Its drinks include the Honey Mead Rise combining mead liqueur with Wyborowa Vodka, Riesling, freshly squeezed lemon juice and lime.

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