What fruits go well in mead?

Answered by James Porterfield

When it comes to adding fruit to , there are endless possibilities. Different fruits will impart different flavors, aromas, and colors to the final product, so it really comes down to personal preference. However, there are a few fruits that are commonly used and known to work well in mead.

1. Berries: Berries are a popular choice for adding fruit flavor to mead. Strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, and blueberries are all commonly used. They add a sweet and tart flavor profile and can give the mead a beautiful color. I find that berries work well in both dry and sweet meads, and they can be used either alone or in combination with other fruits.

2. Citrus fruits: Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and limes can add a bright and refreshing flavor to mead. They are especially well-suited for lighter, citrusy meads. I have had great success with using orange zest and in a traditional mead recipe. The citrus notes complement the honey and give the mead a zesty kick.

3. Stone fruits: Stone fruits like peaches, apricots, and plums can add a juicy and slightly sweet flavor to mead. They work particularly well in sweeter meads and can give the final product a delightful fruity aroma. I have found that stone fruits pair nicely with floral honey varieties, creating a well-balanced and aromatic mead.

4. Tropical fruits: If you're looking for a more exotic flavor profile, tropical fruits like pineapple, mango, and passion fruit can be a great choice. These fruits add a tropical sweetness and can give the mead a unique and vibrant character. I have experimented with a pineapple mead, and the result was a refreshing and tropical drink that was perfect for summer.

5. Apples and pears: While not as commonly used as other fruits, apples and pears can still be a great addition to mead. They add a crisp and subtly sweet flavor that can work well in both dry and sweet meads. I have used apple juice in a cyser (apple mead) recipe, and it added a lovely apple essence to the final product.

When adding fruit to mead, it's important to consider the amount and timing. Adding too much fruit can overpower the honey flavors, so it's best to start with a smaller amount and adjust to taste. As for timing, I usually leave my meads on the fruit for 10-14 days. I haven't seen any advantage to longer contact time, and it's important to note that the fruit flavors will fade over time, so it's best to consume the mead relatively soon after bottling.

There is no right or wrong fruit to use in mead – it all depends on your personal taste preferences. Whether you opt for berries, citrus fruits, stone fruits, tropical fruits, or even apples and pears, experimenting with different fruits can lead to exciting and delicious results. So go ahead, get creative, and let your taste buds guide you on your mead-making journey!