A mini review of local mead & cider-makers Liquid Alchemy Beverages, adventures in recipe testing, and a start of fall link round-up in today’s Thymeline!
Disclaimer: This post contains Amazon affiliate links, and I will earn a commission if you purchase through those links at no additional cost to you. As always all thoughts and opinions are my own.
Fall has officially started. Can you believe it? I’m already missing summer beach days, but I’m getting over it by skipping right ahead into getting psyched for Halloween. Scary movies, themed photoshoots, planning creepy activities – I’m into it. I’m also making as many plans as I can involving local events and businesses.
How are you celebrating the fall?
Local Thyme: Liquid Alchemy Beverages
This weekend I had the pleasure of finally making it out to Delaware’s first meadery & cidery, Liquid Alchemy Beverages in Wilmington. Just over a year old, I’ve been itching to check out the facilities.
A little background: Mead isn’t as popular as a lot of distilled beverages, but if you’ve been to a renaissance faire, you’ve likely heard of it. If not, all the more reason to try it. Whereas wine is distilled from fermented fruit, and beer from fermented grain, mead is made through the fermentation of honey. At Liquid Alchemy, they’ve made this into an art form. Oh, and they make cider too – because I guess limiting themselves to one delicious beverage just wasn’t enough.
Pulling into the grey industrial park, you might wonder for a moment what you’ve gotten yourself into. Right around the bend though, the company logo can be seen painted clearly on one of the buildings. Pulling in, half the parking lot is filled up by an adorable patio-like space set up outside the side entrance. I knew immediately I was going to like this place.
Inside is a clean and well-appointed bar and tasting room that uses the industrial feel of the area to its advantage, rather than fight against it. A leaderboard of the wide variety of meads and ciders on tap – as well their prices – hangs over the polished wooden bar, next to a display of awards various bottles have won. Extra seating is available around finished wooden barrel tabletops in the center.
As we waited for the tour start, we perused the extensive menu of twelve meads and five ciders, plus the mead ice cream, mead chocolate, and various mead-related antiques on display. As it turns out, the industrial location is a matter of law – as a production facility they must make their home in an area zoned for industrial use. Don’t let that stop you from visiting though. Having been to my share of winery and distillery tours, I feel like I can report with some authority that, even if you know about distilling, this one is worth the brief time it takes. I’ll avoid any spoilers, but if you’re into cool facts and surprising bits of history like me, you’ll enjoy it. And you’ll get a sneak peek not only into their production of mead, but their cider production as well.
After the tour, my company and I settled in to try as many meads and ciders as we could manage (luckily, my husband doesn’t drink much and is kind enough to be our designated driver most of the time). Over the course of the next two hours, we tried enough flights to taste the full selection, including a limited specialty concoction made with both fermented apples (like the cider) and fermented honey (like the mead) called a cyser. Dubbed Franken-Cyser, it was fantastic (with a proof of 14.9%). Luckily, they plan to make more once that last keg is spent.
We left with two of our favorite bottles of mead – Cosmo-Naughty (with notes of passion fruit, pomegranate, and blood orange) and Black 302 (made from locally sourced blackberries, black raisins, and currants), and I’m already craving the deep caramel flavors of their Dark Cide(r) a day later. I look forward to visiting often, watching how the company grows, and gifting bottles of mead come the holiday season to friends and family. If you can’t check them out in person (and I do hope you can), select states can order bottles of their meads through the website (where legal). Follow the Liquid Alchemy Beverages Facebook page to stay current on the latest events and new releaseses. I know I can’t wait to see what new flavors they come up with!
Adventures in Recipe Testing
Aside from taste-testing mead, this week I’ve been playing around with a lot of recipes. Here are a few:
Experimenting with making mouse-shaped pretzel bites filled with cheese. Needs some work design wise, but they tasted good!
Pork tenderloin in a cherry-rosemary glaze. I coupled it with a side of roasted pumpkin – one of our households’ favorite foods of the season.
Fig, Prosciutto, & Blue Cheese Pizza. This was my first time experimenting with a cauliflower crust, and while I need to play with the recipe a bit more, I really liked it as a healthier alternative to a standard crust.
My Current Obsessions:
- Currently Watching: 90’s horror movies (getting a jumpstart on October, when I watch every horror and thriller marathon available)
- Currently Reading: Peppers of the Americas by Maricel E. Presilla
- Currently Listening: The Fall Line Podcast
- Currently Drinking: Green House Artisan Gin, with tonic and Fig & Vanilla Bean Syrup
And now, some links to get you started on your own fall recipe adventures:
- Have you tried Starbucks new Maple Pecan Latte? I must admit, I’m usually a PSL girl, but I think I like this better!
- Nothing says fall cooking like incorporating delicious fresh pumpkin into everything imaginable. Here you can find pulled pork bowls, paleo pumpkin waffles, and pumpkin sage lasagna!
- Not to be left out, I’m loving the comfort to be found in these recipes for one-pan honey mustard chicken, warm mushroom curry, and coffee-rubbed steak as the weather turns colder.
- These Twice Baked Honey Cakes look like a real treat, and if you need more cake-spiration, check out this list of 10 Tea Cakes to Ease You Into Fall Baking.
A final note – I’ll be heading into NYC this week to attend the TECHmunch NYC 2017 Content Creator & Food Influencer Conference. Let me know if I’ll see you there – Cheers!