Capital city winemaker Ray Curtis in Olympia, Wash., has found a following for this mead made with jalapeno peppers, which explains why this smells like honey with green peppers. Curtis keeps the honey local by working with beekeepers from Thurston and nearby Lewis counties, and he develops this in 15-case batches throughout the year. He crushes fresh jalapenos, mixes them with honey and pitches the yeast. There are hints of cherry juice, blueberry and mint along the way, and the residual sits rather low at 1%, so it’s a good thing there’s not more heat in the finish. It is available only at the winery, where it’s offered in 375-milliliter bottles.
Production: 15 cases