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Food and beverage stories

An ancient brew

Tassie twist to ancient brew - bottle

What do you get from a secret blend of Tassie’s world-class honey, whisky and an ancient recipe?

You get Whisky Honey Mead. A delicious new drink, which according to its producer – the larger than life local honey maestro Lindsay Bourke – is a world-first. An innovative new twist on the oldest alcoholic drink known to humans.

Lindsay found when you add whisky to the antiquated brew of mead it creates something magical – a little taste of pure Tasmanian heaven.

Mead and myth!
Tassie twist to ancient brew - honeycomb

Tassie twist to ancient brew - honeycomb

Mead is the stuff of legend. Ancient Greeks considered this sweet honey elixir 'the nectar of the Gods’; King Midas drank mead from his golden goblet; and the Vikings fortified themselves with it as they conquered the oceans.

This smooth drink is created from a mixture of honey, yeast and water, and was most probably an accident of history.

"Back in Ancient times, people collected honey, water got into it by accident and it started to bubble. They drank it and felt funny, but they liked it. And Mead, the world’s first alcohol was born,” Lindsay explains.

Lindsay has been making pure Tasmanian mead for more years than he can remember.

He has more hives than anyone else in Tasmania – 4,000 at last count. In his brew, he uses native Tasmanian Prickly Box Honey that grows in the hills between Hobart and Launceston and flowers over Christmas.

Lindsay says this produces the best mead in the world, and he even has the award to prove it!

In 2017, Lindsay’s mead was crowned 'Best in the World’ at the biennial International Beekeepers Awards in Turkey, and he will head to Canada later this year to defend his title.

Whisky wonder
Tassie twist to ancient brew - whisky honey mead

Tassie twist to ancient brew - whisky honey mead

When Lindsay added whisky to his Honey Mead and spent 18 months experimenting, he created an exciting new drink.

"The Honey Mead I’ve been making for a long time has been winning world titles, but for some reason, when you fortify it with whisky, it tastes even better!” Lindsay says.

"Our Whisky Honey Mead combines the wonderful flavour of Tasmanian native honey, with a Tasmanian whisky that’s won world gold medals. It’s smooth and velvety. Drink it neat with a cheese platter before a meal, or afterwards with a coffee. In fact, drink it anytime!”

"It’s a taste of pure heaven.”

Earlier this month Lindsay unveiled his innovative new Whisky Honey Mead to the world at HOFEX, which is Asia’s largest food trade show in Hong Kong, where it received rave reviews.

Winter warmer
Tassie twist to ancient brew - beehive

Tassie twist to ancient brew - beehive

Lindsay and his wife, Yeonsoon, run Australian Honey Products, which is one of the State’s biggest honey producers. They make 250 tonnes of premium honey each year, 75 per cent of which is exported.

As well as mead, they also craft beautiful Tasmanian honeys, like leatherwood which they source from hives placed deep within the pristine rainforests of the West Coast. Lindsay says Tasmanian honey is the best in the world, and he only uses his best in Whisky Honey Mead

And with the winter chill descending, there’s never been a more perfect time to sit in front of a roaring fire and crack open a bottle of this Tassie – 'nectar of the gods’.

Images courtesy of Australian Honey Products

22 May 2019, Edition 205

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