It’s been hot! In the search to stay cool, we’ve been blending mead with frozen fruit and ice. Our favorite pairings so far have been Mulled Over with blackberries and Toby’s Brew with cherries. Blackberries and cinnamon go surprisingly well together, and coffee lends a similar tannic feel to the cherries that you would get from chocolate. Pictured above is the latter. This is super easy to make and drink – all you need is a blender. Ice is optional – it helps to thicken the slushy, particularly if you want to use a larger amount of mead. This is also a great way to use up a bottle that’s been sitting around open for a bit too long and has begun to oxidize.
We use 2 cups frozen fruit, 1 cup mead, 1 cup ice. Adjust ratios as you see fit. Blend, drink, and find a friend with a pool.
As far as I’m aware, this dish is a heavily Americanized version of an Indian curry. While I usually prefer the authentic stuff, this is easy to make, and the slow cooker won’t make you break a sweat standing over the stove during these warmer months. The spices pair very nicely with the cinnamon and cloves in Mulled Over, which can be chilled to beat the heat of both the weather and the cayenne.
To make: put some chicken thighs (2 pounds-ish, trimmed if you like) into slow cooker. Add a chopped onion, a can of tomato paste, 2 TBS yellow curry paste (you can use powder if you can’t find paste), 1 TBS garam masala, 4 TBS butter (or ghee), 6 minced cloves of garlic, cayenne to taste, and a handful of smashed whole cardamom pods. Put the last of these in a cheesecloth for easy removal after cooking, if you like. Top the whole thing with a can of coconut milk, cook 8 hrs on low, shred chicken, remove bones and cardamom pots. Serve with basmati rice (you can add turmeric to the rice to make it yellow – or saffron if you’re fancy).
It’s supposed to be spring, but as usual, our Vermont winter is still hanging around. Since night time is still chilly, and we are too cheap to turn up the heat in our house, we’ve been keeping warm with Mulled Over, heated up. Usually we just drink it by itself, but sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. Mulling spices go fabulously with apple – hence they are the same spices used in apple pie. So I made an adult beverage that is frankly more bourbon than apple or pie, but those flavors definitely come through! This is good hot or cold, by the way, just like pie. So drink it this summer too!
2 oz bourbon
1 oz Mulled Over
1 oz apple cider
1 drop orange bitters
Mix together, stick in microwave for 30 seconds, and garnish with a cinnamon stick or a sprinkle of cinnamon on top.