Restaurant News & Reviews

Top Dish: Warm up winter with mead, chocolate and cocktails

Hot spiced mead featuring wassail from Honey Moon Mead & Cider in Bellingham.
Hot spiced mead featuring wassail from Honey Moon Mead & Cider in Bellingham. THE BELLINGHAM HERALD

If you’re looking for something to warm your insides when the weather outside is frightful, duck into these Bellingham businesses for a taste of these potent potables.

Name: Honey Moon Mead & Cider.

Location: In the alley at 1053 N. State St. 360-734-0728, and on Facebook.

Drink up: Sip Honey Moon’s hot spiced mead, which includes wassail, for a relaxing start to your evening. It costs $7 and comes in a clear mug. The drink, a seasonal favorite, combines wassail mead with cider and a twist of orange.

You’ll get a whiff of mulling spices, mainly cinnamon and clove, from the wassail and those flavors will bloom in your mouth with each sip. The cider gives the drink an acidic edge that balances the sweetness of the wassail.

By the way, mead is wine made from honey. Honey Moon uses honey from a Skagit Valley beekeeper.

And wassail hails from veis heill, an old toast of Norse origin that means “be in good health,” according to the “Food Lover’s Companion.”

Wassail the drink is often associated with Yuletide, the old term for Christmas. At Honey Moon, this mead is served at room temperature.

You also can order 5 ounces of wassail for $5. It’s light and refreshing. This is a drink for those who like their flavors on the sweeter side.

Name: Chocolate Necessities.

Location:1426 Cornwall Ave. 360-733-6666, and on Facebook.

Drink up: The kid in you will be oh so happy with an 8-ounce Mexican drinking chocolate from this chocolatier in the downtown. The drink is steamed milk infused with cardamom and cinnamon and combined with your choice of melted chocolate. I selected a dark chocolate with 60 percent cocoa mass.

The $4.25 drink is topped with whipped cream, sprinkled cinnamon and cocoa powder. It is bittersweet, rich and creamy with a smidge of a kick.

Name: Daphne’s bar.

Location:1200 10th St., Suite 102, across from the Village Green in Fairhaven. 360-778-3462 and on Facebook.

Drink up: At Daphne’s you can order classic cocktails like a Manhattan, martini or old fashioned. Or indulge in a Daphne’s creation, like I did by ordering the mountain pear with vodka for $11.

Made with fresh ginger, pear eau de vie, apple, orange pekoe, lemon and prosecco, the pretty pink liquid is served up in a dainty, stemmed glass.

The bartender told me this was one of the more popular cocktails, and I could tell why from the first sip. There’s a faint flowery scent and the flavor is citrusy and sweet — though not overly so — with a last, lingering taste of pear. It’s like a bright taste of spring in winter.

Daphne’s is among the bars building a cocktail culture in Bellingham. You can find out what they’ve been up to during the first Bellingham Cocktail Week, which runs Monday, Nov. 30, through Sunday, Dec. 6.

Ten bars are participating. Events will include tastings of craft cocktails, distiller nights, pairings and bartending contests.

Details are at and on Facebook.

Got suggestions for tasty tidbits in Whatcom County or an eatery known for a particular dish? Send them to Kie Relyea: 360-715-2234,, @kierelyea