‘Peckham’s answer to Prosecco’ to capitalise on lower alcohol trend

London’s only commercial mead producer, Gosnells, has re-launched its lightly sparkling, 5.5% ABV ‘session’ mead in a larger 75cl bottle in a bid to capitalise on both the lower alcohol and ‘sharing bottle’ trends.

Dubbed ‘Peckham’s answer to Prosecco’ by its fans, Gosnells hopes the new format will align it more with wine rather than beer.

The mead, which will retail for around £10 to £12 a bottle is also gluten free and produced using orange blossom honey.

Founder Tom Gosnell commented: “Mead’s time has come. We’re aiming to build on our success with this new format and continue to drive sales in the UK and abroad”

“In the past, and to some degree even today, mead was often high in alcohol – up to 15%.  It wasn’t taken seriously as a drink on a par with the finest wines; and as the crops from which the bees harvested their pollen changed every year, so too did the flavour and consistency of the meads.”

“In contrast, the majority of our honey comes from Spanish orange groves, and this provides a consistent flavour profile, combining elements of sourdough bread, a certain richness and an edge of gentle orange.”

“For many producers, the honey is blended with other sugar sources such as barley or wheat. This has its roots historically where, even thousands of years ago, wheat was used as a cheaper alternative than honey. But we have opted for honey, water and time so as to create a drink which reflects the delicacy of our honey.

“In terms of food matching, Gosnells pairs well with food ranging from lighter dishes like salads and fish, but it also a perfect partner for desserts and English cheeses”.

Mead sales remain strong in the US with the American Mead Makers’ Association estimating that a new mead maker opens every other day worldwide.

A 2017 industry report compiled by the trade body found that the number of meaderies in the US had risen from just 30 in 2003 to 300 in early 2016.

It also found that a growing number of producers were making lower abv ‘session’ meads at under 7%, a trend Gosnells is hoping to benefit from.

Honey has been a popular ingredient in drinks in recent years. In beer, for example, scientists at Cardiff University teamed up with Bridgend’s Bang-On Brewery to release a beer infused with Wales’ answer to Manuka honey last year while recently chef and owner of Michelin-starred restaurant Carters of Moseley, Brad Carter, collaborated with Burning Soul to release a beer made using foraged wildflowers and honey.

Honey has also found favour in gin. Nicholas Cook of the Gin Guild predicted last year that the ingredient would be the next big thing for the spirit, with Silent Pool, Dodd’s, Greensand Ridge and Warner Edwards already championing the ingredient.

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