What is mead? The 8000 year old drink

Mead is a fermented beverage traditionally made from honey.
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Mead, or “honey wine” as it is often referred to is an alcoholic beverage made by the process of fermenting honey. And has an alcohol content typically ranging from 5–20%. Flavours can range from very sweet to very dry, and sparkling and still versions can also be made.

Mead is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages around, having been consumed for over 8000 years.

A bottle of mead

To make this sweet drink all you need is honey, water and a yeast or a bacterial culture. However ingredients such as fruits, herbs, spices, grains, roots and flowers are now popular additions. On the market today are many wonderful combinations such as rhubarb, ginger and mango flavoured Meads.

In Greek mythology it was referred to as “the drink of the gods” and was allegedly given to men after a fight to help with the healing of their injuries.

What does mead have to do with honeymoons?

During the medieval era, mead was part of a common marriage ritual. After a wedding, the bride and groom were to provide enough mead to drink to last one full moon. Drinking sweet honey wine supposedly brought good luck in the new marriage, and was also believed to promote fertility and virility. So from that belief created the term “honeymoon.”

Craft mead breweries

Modern breweries like the Wye Valley Meadery are producing Mead with a modern twist. Moving away from the stigma of it being a drink of the medieval ages.

“Combining our love of nature with our interest in brewing. We set out to create something as original as possible by taking the world’s oldest form of alcohol, and give it a modern twist. What we have created is innovative, light, refreshing and rich in flavour, but also steeped in history. A true blend of old and new.” – Wye Valley Meadery

Where to buy Mead?

Check out these two vibrant and talented producers:

Gosnells of London

Wye Valley Meadery

Fancy making your own at home?

Head over to the BBC to learn how to make it.

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