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Limited edition charity mead launched – and mead cocktail recipe

Posted: 13 December 2023

By Guild of Fine Food

Cocktail recipe by Andy Clarke

Matt Newell, Jenna Morice, Tortie Farrand and Kit Newell with Guild of Fine Food and Hive Mind Mead's charity mead: Friends in Mead
Matt Newell, Jenna Morice, Tortie Farrand and Kit Newell with Guild of Fine Food and Hive Mind Mead's charity mead: Friends in Mead

Guild of Fine Food and Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co. launch limited edition charity mead made from hundreds of honeys

Here at the Guild of Fine Food, we’ve teamed up with Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co. from Monmouthshire, Wales to create a limited-edition charity mead from hundreds of different types of honey from all over the world, following the Great Taste judging process.

The new brew ‘Friends in Mead’ is being sold through selected independent retailers and directly from Hive Mind’s online store to raise money for Bees Abroad. 100% of profits will support the charity which educates, guides and mentors communities in beekeeping skills, running sustainable businesses and protecting the environment.

The idea for the charity mead came about from a chance conversation and the need to find a more meaningful way to use up the hundreds of opened jars of honey from the Great Taste judging process. This year a total of 586 honeys were entered into Great Taste and blind-judged by a panel of more than 500 experts.

Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co., based in the Wye Valley, was awarded 3-stars for its Traditional Mead in 2023 and went on to achieve the Great Taste Golden Fork from Wales. Founded by brothers Kit and Matt Newell in 2018, who created their first brew from Matt’s garage, Hive Mind now supply farm shops, delis, and restaurants nationwide.

Made by fermenting honey mixed with water, Friends in Mead is crafted from a blend of over 250 honey varieties from across the world to create this traditional drink with a modern twist. Tortie Farrand and Jenna Morice from the Guild of Fine Food visited Hive Mind Mead & Brew Co. to help bottle and label the mead.

Tortie Farrand labelling Friends in Mead
Tortie Farrand labelling Friends in Mead

Delicious when paired with cheese or used as a cocktail ingredient, we asked food and drink expert, broadcaster and Great Taste judge, Andy Clarke to create a mead-based cocktail, Bee’s Mead:

Bee’s Mead cocktail recipe
By Andy Clarke

Makes 2 servings

Cocktail shaker / hand peeler / chopping board / sharp knife / 2 coupe glasses

A handful of ice
2 parts (100ml) gin
3 parts (150ml) mead
1 part (50ml) lemon juice
Lemon peel ringlet

To make the garnish, use the peeler to peel a ribbon of peel from the lemon around 5cm in length. From this, cut a full 5cm length of peel which is around 2mm thick. Using your fingers twist to make a ringlet shape. The peel is quite robust and can take the twist! If you are unsure of how to do this, twist around a chopstick to form a ringlet and hold for 5 seconds. Slide off the chopstick and set aside.
Your ringlets can be made ahead of time. You can also store them in the fridge to help them retain their shape. They may need a little reshaping when serving but this should be relatively easy, as long as you’re not a few drinks down the line!

To make the cocktail, put the ice and all liquid ingredients into a shaker. Shake for 20 seconds or until the shaker is cold to touch and then strain into the glasses. Garnish with a perched on the side of each glass.

Friends in Mead - a charity project from Guild of Fine Food and Hive Mind Mead in support of Bees Abroad

Friends in Mead (12% ABV) is available to purchase from Hive Mind’s website, £20 for a 500ml bottle. 100% of profits go to support Bees Abroad.

Available to wholesale customers via Hive Mind wholesale (9 x 500ml bottles, £10.55 per bottle wholesale). No minimum order and orders over £300 receive free delivery.

Did you know? Honey is one of the largest entry categories into Great Taste and the Friends in Mead project arose from wanting to diversify what we do with any leftover product to ensure we are doing our very best to reduce waste and create opportunities to support great charitable projects and repurpose some of the honeys in a different way. Any leftover products from other categories in Great Taste are currently donated to two local initiatives, Blackfriars Settlement and The Vale Pantry, who reuse and distribute everything to support their local communities.