If one half of a married couple is a beekeeper and the other a winemaker, you can count on hearing one question fairly regularly.
“People always come and ask, ‘When are you going to make a honey wine?'” said Coffee Pot Cellars owner and winemaker Adam Suprenant, whose wife Laura Klahre sells her Blossom Meadow honey out of their Cutchogue tasting room.
While Klahre’s bees can’t produce enough honey to make a complete honey wine or mead, Suprenant remembered a friend from his winemaking school days in California who made a cyser, a mead created from both honey and cider.
In honor of National Pollinator Week, Coffee Pot Cellars is releasing its first bottles of cyser this week.
Made the same way as sparkling wine or champagne, by adding yeast and rotating the bottles, Suprenant took apple cider from Breeze Hill Farm, fermented it for several months and added honey at specific intervals.
“I asked for a nice blend of apples to make the cider,” he said. “They’re mainly dessert apples like golden and red delicious and Mcintosh.”
Klahre also has a pollinator contract with Breeze Hill Farms, so her mason bees helped pollinate the orchard that supplied the apples to make the cyser.
Cyser, Suprenant explained, is an Old English term.
“It’s predominantly apple cider and about 4 percent honey,” he said. “It tastes like a cider to me with just a little bit of honey.”
Klahre said she enjoys it.
“For me this is a nice, clean drink,” she remarked. “I like that it’s only 7.5 percent alcohol.”
Suprenant, who is also the winemaker at Osprey’s Dominion in Peconic, recommends serving the cyser chilled and pairing it with foods like aged cheeses, figs, fish, chicken or as an aperitif before dinner.
“This is the first time that my bees and Adam’s winemaking skills have come together to create something,” Klahre said. “I think it’s so neat that people have been asking us to make something with my honey, a wine or mead and to be able to release it for National Pollinator Week.”
Coffee Pot Cellars’ cyser is a limited edition and is currently available at their tasting room for sale and tastings. The tasting room is now open seven days a week for the summer, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Coffee Pot Cellars’ tasting room is located at 31855 Main Road in Cutchogue. Call (631) 765-8929 or visit coffeepotcellars.com for more information.
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