Skip To Content
JEWISH. INDEPENDENT. NONPROFIT.

Support the Forward

Funded by readers like you DonateSubscribe
Food

Drink Your Honey This Rosh Hashanah – Mead and Hard Cider Cocktails

From an Epicurean and symbolic perspective Rosh Hashanah is practically synonymous with honey. This year, in addition to dipping apples into honey, my family will be drinking it as well. Not in its viscous, sticky form, but as mead an alcoholic honey wine, which is a bit yeasty and light in flavor, like wheat beer or a dry white wine.

Like heirloom tomatoes or heritage chickens, mead is a beverage with a long history; it can be traced back literally tens of thousands of years. Historians believe that it may have been the first alcoholic beverage ever produced (accidentally, it is supposed) when honey was left in the open air and allowed to accumulate water in an environment that made fermentation possible.

The historic drink has recently captured the attention of do-it-yourself brewers, locavores and other food-lovers. Brothers Nathaniel and Thatcher Martin, founders of Manhattan Meadery, created their Brooklyn Buzz honey wine after experimenting with different “fermentables.” “We’d made beer and wine from all sorts of fruits, vegetables, spices, maple syrup, but the mead from honey was just incredible. Mead really is a lost art.”

Each bottle of mead contains almost a pound of honey, Nathanial explained in an email. “The quality of the honey is very important — aromatic and rich honey makes mead which is, not surprisingly, aromatic and tasty. Just like quality wine is made from quality grapes, great mead comes from great honey.” Their latest batch was made with raspberry honey.

Though it may not be traditional to drink mead for Rosh Hashanah, it has been used as a kosher for Passover wine historically, according to Jeffrey Nathan in “Adventures in Jewish Cooking.”

Rather than serve mead with my main course this Rosh Hashanah, I’m planning to combine Brooklyn Buzz with hard cider (recipe below) to create an apple and honey cocktail that mirrors the apple and honey dipping ceremony. I will also use it to deglaze the au-jus from my roasted chicken to make a thick, rich wine reduction that will serve as the gravy.

The ingredients for mead are relatively simple and there are several sources online selling mead-making kits, but your best bet if you’d like to include mead in your Rosh Hashanah meal this year is to buy it. (It takes about three weeks to ferment and then must be stored in bottles for about two weeks.)

Rosh Hashanah Mead and Cider Cocktail

1 part mead to 1 part cider

a drop of honey

a pinch of nutmeg and cinnamon

1) Pour mead and cider over ice

2) Stir in honey, nutmeg and cinnamon

Where to buy mead:

Manhattan Meadery, Colorado’s Redstone Mead and Oregon’s Honeywood Winery Blackberry Mead

Engage

  • SHARE YOUR FEEDBACK

  • UPCOMING EVENT

    SKY & SCULPTURE

    Hybrid: Online and at the Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan

    Oct 2, 2022

    6:30 pm ET · 

    A Sukkah, IMKHA, created by artist Tobi Kahn, for the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan is an installation consisting of 13 interrelated sculpted painted wooden panels, constituting a single work of art. Join for a panel discussion with Rabbi Joanna Samuels, Chief Executive Director of the Marlene Meyerson JCC of Manhattan, Talya Zax, Innovation Editor of the Forward, and Tobi Kahn, Artist. Moderated by Mattie Kahn.

Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.