The Ultimate Pumpkin Mead Recipe: A Fall Delight

There’s something magical about fall—the crisp air, the colorful leaves, and the abundance of pumpkins. One unique way to celebrate the season is by making Pumpkin Mead Recipe. This delightful beverage combines the rich, earthy flavors of pumpkin with the sweetness of honey, resulting in a drink that’s perfect for autumn gatherings or cozy nights by the fire. Ready to embark on a mead-making adventure? Let’s dive into the ultimate pumpkin mead recipe!

What is Mead?

Before we jump into the recipe, let’s talk about what mead actually is. Mead, often referred to as “honey wine,” is an ancient alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water. Depending on the recipe, it can also include various fruits, spices, grains, and hops. The versatility of mead makes it a fantastic base for experimenting with different flavors, and pumpkin mead is a shining example of this versatility.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Mead

To make a delicious batch of pumpkin mead, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Base Ingredients

  • 4 lbs of honey (preferably a light, floral variety)
  • 2 lbs of fresh pumpkin or one 15 oz can of pumpkin puree
  • 1 gallon of water
  • 1 packet of mead yeast (Lalvin D47 or EC-1118 are great choices)

Spices and Add-Ins

  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 vanilla bean or 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of one orange (optional for added complexity)


  • Large pot
  • Fermentation bucket or carboy
  • Airlock and bung
  • Sanitizing solution (like Star San)
  • Stirring spoon
  • Funnel
  • Strainer or cheesecloth

Step-by-Step Guide to Making Pumpkin Mead


  1. Sanitize Everything: Cleanliness is crucial in mead-making to avoid contamination. Sanitize all your equipment, including the fermentation bucket, stirring spoon, and airlock, according to the instructions on your sanitizing solution.
  2. Prepare the Pumpkin: If you’re using fresh pumpkin, cut it into chunks, remove the seeds, and roast it in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 30 minutes or until soft. Roasting the pumpkin enhances its flavor, adding depth to your mead.

Making the Must

  1. Combine Honey and Water: In a large pot, combine the honey and water. Heat the mixture gently, stirring to dissolve the honey. Avoid boiling, as this can alter the flavor of the honey. Aim for a temperature around 150°F (65°C).
  2. Add the Pumpkin and Spices: Add the roasted pumpkin or pumpkin puree to the honey-water mixture. Stir in the cinnamon stick, nutmeg, ginger, allspice, cloves, and orange zest if using. Simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes to allow the flavors to meld together.
  3. Cool the Must: After simmering, remove the pot from the heat and let the must (unfermented mead) cool to room temperature. You can speed up this process by placing the pot in an ice bath.


  1. Transfer to Fermentation Bucket: Once the must has cooled, use a funnel to transfer it into your sanitized fermentation bucket or carboy. If using a carboy, strain the pumpkin solids out with a strainer or cheesecloth.
  2. Add Yeast: Sprinkle the mead yeast onto the must. If using a dry yeast, you may want to rehydrate it according to the packet instructions before adding.
  3. Seal and Airlock: Seal the fermentation bucket with the lid and attach the airlock. This allows carbon dioxide to escape while preventing oxygen and contaminants from entering.
  4. Primary Fermentation: Store the fermentation bucket in a cool, dark place. Primary fermentation usually takes about 2-4 weeks. You’ll notice bubbling in the airlock, indicating that fermentation is active.

Secondary Fermentation and Aging

  1. Racking: Once the bubbling slows down significantly, it’s time to rack (transfer) the mead to a secondary fermenter to clear. Use a sanitized siphon to avoid disturbing the sediment at the bottom.
  2. Secondary Fermentation: Attach an airlock to the secondary fermenter and allow the mead to ferment for another 1-2 months. This secondary stage helps clarify the mead and develop its flavors.
  3. Aging: After secondary fermentation, you can bottle the mead. For the best flavor, age the bottled mead for at least 3-6 months. Mead improves with age, so patience will be rewarded!

Tips for Perfect Pumpkin Mead

Choosing the Right Honey

The type of honey you use can significantly impact the flavor of your mead. Light, floral honeys like clover or wildflower honey are ideal for pumpkin mead, as they allow the pumpkin and spices to shine without being overpowering.

Experiment with Spices

Feel free to tweak the spice blend to your taste. Adding a pinch of cardamom or a bit more cinnamon can give your mead a unique twist. Just be careful not to overdo it, as the spices can become too dominant.

Monitoring Fermentation

Keep an eye on your fermentation. If you notice any off smells or flavors, it could be a sign of contamination. Always sanitize your equipment thoroughly and follow good fermentation practices to avoid this.

Adjusting Sweetness

After fermentation, you can adjust the sweetness of your mead by adding more honey (a process called backsweetening). Make sure to stabilize the mead with potassium sorbate and potassium metabisulfite to prevent further fermentation when adding additional honey.

Serving and Enjoying Pumpkin Mead

Once your pumpkin mead has aged to perfection, it’s time to enjoy it! Here are a few serving suggestions:

Chilled or Room Temperature

Pumpkin mead can be enjoyed chilled or at room temperature. Chilling can enhance the refreshing qualities, while room temperature allows the flavors to fully develop.

Pairing with Food

Pumpkin mead pairs wonderfully with a variety of fall dishes. Try serving it with roasted turkey, pork, or creamy cheeses. It also complements pumpkin pie, apple desserts, and spiced cookies perfectly.


For a festive touch, garnish your mead with a cinnamon stick or a slice of orange. This adds a bit of flair and enhances the seasonal flavors.


Making pumpkin mead is a rewarding and enjoyable process that allows you to capture the essence of fall in a bottle. With its rich, spiced flavor and the natural sweetness of honey, this mead is sure to become a favorite. Whether you’re a seasoned mead maker or a beginner, this recipe provides a great foundation for crafting a delicious and unique beverage. So gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and get ready to enjoy a taste of autumn with every sip.

For more ideas, recipes, and cooking tips and tricks, please visit us at Green Garden Wholesale.

FAQs About Pumpkin Mead Recipe

How long does it take to make pumpkin mead?

The entire process, including primary and secondary fermentation and aging, can take anywhere from 3 to 6 months. The longer you age the mead, the better the flavor will be.

Can I use canned pumpkin instead of fresh pumpkin?

Yes, you can use canned pumpkin puree. Just make sure it’s 100% pumpkin with no added spices or sweeteners. Canned pumpkin is convenient and works just as well as fresh pumpkin.

What if my mead tastes too strong or too sweet?

If your mead tastes too strong, aging it longer can help mellow the flavors. If it’s too sweet, you might have added too much honey. You can blend it with a dry mead or add a bit more water to balance the sweetness.

Is it necessary to use all the spices listed?

No, the spices can be adjusted to your preference. The listed spices provide a balanced, traditional pumpkin flavor, but you can modify the amounts or types of spices based on your taste.

Can I carbonate pumpkin mead?

Yes, you can carbonate pumpkin mead if you prefer a sparkling version. After fermentation, prime the mead with a bit of honey or sugar before bottling. Make sure to use bottles designed for carbonation, like beer bottles or champagne bottles, to handle the pressure.