Wattle Day Mead
Wattle you be doing on Wattle Day? Drinking Mead?
When a local beekeeper offered me some Wattle Honey, the day before Wattle Day, I couldn't resist. ( I can seldom resist local honey anyway, but this was special ) Needless to say, I spent Wattle Day setting things in motion for my little yeast friends to turn this honey into mead.
I have used Wattle seed a lot in cooking, as a Chef in the eighties I was in the middle of the taking bush tucker into restaurants fad. The flavour of wattle seed, and timber, is one I always enjoyed working with. For some misguided reason I thought there would be a similar profile in the honey. There isn't really, there is a slight nuttiness, but it does lack that taste that I associate with Wattle. It is a bright and clean sweetness.
It became apparent that if I were to make a Mead that tasted like Wattle, not just Wattle honey, then I needed to add some wattle to it.
I ordered some wattle seeds from my friendly herb wholesaler and then headed off for a country road drive, down to the area the honey had come from just 40 klicks down the road and collected wattle wood and flowers from a variety my research had told me was edible.
A trip to the local nursery of Australian natives with some leaves and flowers in hand verified this.
Roasting the wood did exactly what I wanted it to, It tasted like I expected Wattle to, The roasting brought out a light nuttiness and that unique wattle timber flavour. This will be used during the ageing process.
The seeds have been dry toasted and will be added to the ferment near the end of its process. These will also be used during the ageing period.
This will not be going into Oak, I want the timber flavour in this to be wattle. It will age on the wattle sticks and seeds in stainless steel.
I am planning on releasing it Wattle Day 2022, but the mead may have other plans and it may be 2023.