Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor's The Art of Mead Tasting & Food Pairing

Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor’s new book is a great introduction to thew versatility of mead.

“Mead has been made—and perhaps even discovered independently—on every continent except Antarctica, and mead has been produced and drunk by just about every culture in the world,” writes author Chrissie Manion Zaerpoor in The Art of Mead Tasting & Food Pairing (Mead Maven Publishing). “No matter your ethnic background, most likely your ancestors made mead.”

With an accessible and friendly voice, Zaerpoor defines what mead is and explains how it’s produced, details the many styles it can take, describes why it’s fallen out of favor, and declares her intent to right that wrong—and that’s just in the first 50 pages! It’s part history text, part cookbook, and part love letter to what’s been called the “nectar of the gods.” Her fascinating mix of information and encouragement makes it clear she’s on a mission to re-introduce this ancient (and often misunderstood) beverage.

Since meads are almost nonexistent on restaurant lists, Zaerpoor uses the bulk of her pages to describe flavor profiles of various mead styles and then suggest food pairings and mead-based cocktails you can try at home (recipes included). Her culinary picks travel the globe stylistically, as do the meads she reviews as accompaniment.

As cocktail culture makes all things old new again, mead could be what’s “next.”