According to the US Honey Board there are over 300 varietal honeys in the US. By “varietal” we mean a honey that honey bees mostly made from a single variety of blossom. Most people are familiar with Clover Blossom honey and its spicy almost cinnamon like flavor. Orange Blossom honey has a very distinct jasmine/white flower aroma and taste. Avocado honey is dark and somewhat earthy with notes of dark caramel and molasses. When you ferment these different honeys, you get an amazing abundance of flavors and aromas that is sometimes hard to describe. Its best tasted by yourself as you take in the bouquet from the mead in your glass. Mead is also a very sustainable product. Buying mead helps honey producers by enticing and financing them to make more honey and thus increase honey bee populations. That helps us all.
Mead is quite possibly the world's oldest fermented beverage most simply made from honey, water and yeast. You can vary a mead recipe by adding fruit, spices, juices, vegetables (yes!), almost anything.
Colorado doesn’t have the apple orchards it once had before the 1960s. Most of what is Colorado grown are sweet eating apples or desert apples. These apples can help make a base for a cider but by themselves they are not very flavorful after fermentation takes the sugars away. We most often blend apple juices as the yearly crops provide. Some desert apple juice (or unfermented cider) from the western slope mixed with sharper and more acidic juices from elsewhere tend to make the best ciders. Fruit and spice additions can also make a cider more interesting. For example: raspberry, Aronia berry, ginger, tart cherry and Palisade peach are some past combinations that have pleased taste buds over and over.
Fruit wines or country wines are made from non-grape fruit. Colorado isn’t known for a big selection in this area, but we do what we can. We do have a steady seasonal supply of tart cherries and of course peaches! Most fruit wines are made more interesting by blending different fruits together.
The sky’s the limit if you look at it that way!
We are a new meadery located in Centennial Colorado that produces small batches of artisanal mead, cider and fruit wines. Zanamiel strives to use as much local Colorado ingredients as we can to help sustain our local honey producers, fruit and farm growers. With smaller batch sizes comes the flexibility to quickly dream up something new as seasons change and ingredient availability dictates. We will be producing both low alcohol “crushable” carbonated meads and ciders and standard wine strength mead and fruit wines. There may be an occasional nonalcoholic honey “soda” now and then for the designated drivers or those not yet old enough.
We currently do not have a public tasting room. Our initial business focus is to quickly produce small batches for marketing research at private tastings, special events and festivals to help determine what the market in our area wants.
For an individual or very small group, a private invitation to the meadery may be possible for a tour and tasting along the ability to purchase take home bottles. Special releases will be available at other local tasting rooms at meaderies, cideries and wineries on tap or in bottles.