What is Mead?
Perhaps the oldest alcoholic drink
History of Mead
Mead is perhaps the oldest alcoholic drink in the world, it was consumed as far back as 9000 years ago. Mead is primarily made from the fermentation of honey with water and yeast. It was highly popular across many different cultures, from the ancient Chinese to the Romans. It was also the drink of choice for the Vikings and was traditionally offered to newlyweds, whom would share mead for the first full moon of their marriage, hence a possible source of the name, ‘honeymoon’.
Is Mead Beer or Wine?
Though similar to both beer and wine, mead actually occupies an alcoholic beverage category all of its own since it’s primary fermentable sugar is honey. That being said, most mead makers and connoisseurs consider mead to be most closely related to wine, due to the similar processes in it’s creation.
What is the Best Way to Drink Mead?
Mead is very versatile and can be enjoyed in a number of ways. The traditional way is to be served at room temperature in a tulip glass. However, it can also be enjoyed chilled for a refreshing drink on a summers evening. It can even be served hot for a wonderfully warming winters drink.
How is Mead Made?
At the most basic level, mead is a simple blend of honey, water, yeast and time. During the fermentation process yeast breaks down the sugars in the honey to produce alcohol. However, not all the sugars can be broken down completely which is what leaves us with the delightful honey taste of a finished mead.
Meads of this type are referred to as a ‘Traditional Mead’. Often fruits, herbs, botanicals and / or spices are added to the process to produce varied flavours, meads with additions are often given a whole host of different names.
Different Types of Mead
As simple as honey, water, yeast and time.
Very sweet, desert wine, lots of extra honey! Often strong alcohol content.
Less honey used in fermentation. Lower ABV, sometimes called Sessions Meads.
Brewed with a variety of different spices. So many possibilities!
Brewed with fruit. Certain fruit additions even have their own unique names, such as Cyser for apple and honey meads.
Brewed with grains. A mead and a beer combined.
There are many other interesting and exciting variants of mead.