Mead; archaic and dialectal «medd»; from Old English «meodu» also called honey wine, is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by brewing a solution of honey and water. It may also be produced by brewing a solution of water and honey with grain mash, which is strained after fermentation. Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be flavored with spices, fruit, or hops (which produce a bitter, beer-like flavor). The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to 18%. It may be still, carbonated or naturally sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet or sweet.
Mead is known from many sources of ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, although archaeological evidence of it is ambiguous. Its origins are lost in prehistory. «It can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks,» Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat has speculated, «antedating the cultivation of the soil.»
The vikings even made mead with honey and cherry juice, «Viking Blood.»
By the eighth century when King Alfred was ruling Britain, the history books refer to feast days and special occasions when mead was drunk in celebration. This appears to have been when the word ‘honeymoon’ came into the British language. At the time it was customary to celebrate a marriage by drinking copious amounts of mead and eating honey-cake for the period of a moon’s waxing and waning – a whole ‘lunar’ month. Mead was the magic intoxicating component. This, they believed, would make the union productive. We can only guess at the appreciation showered on the accomplished mead-maker at the birth of the first-born.
There are several accounts of large feasting halls constructed for important feasts when Scandinavian royalty was invited. According to a legend recorded by Snorri Sturluson, in the Heimskringla, the late 9th century Värmlandish chieftain Áki invited both the Norwegian king Harald Fairhair and the Swedish king Eric Eymundsson, but had the Norwegian king stay in the newly constructed and sumptuous one, because he was the youngest one of the kings and the one who had the greatest prospects. The older Swedish king, on the other hand, had to stay in the old feasting hall. The Swedish king was so humiliated that he killed Áki.
The mead we have made this time around is a mix between a Metheglin and a Cyser.
Metheglin: Metheglin is a traditional mead with herbs and/or spices added. Some of the most common metheglins are ginger, tea, orange peel, nutmeg, coriander, cinnamon, cloves or vanilla. Its name indicates that many metheglins were originally employed as folk medicines. The Welsh word for mead is medd, and the word «metheglin» derives from meddyglyn, a compound of meddyg, «healing» + llyn, «liquor».
Cyser: A blend of honey and apple juice fermented together; see also cider.
Our mead is purely for private use and we do not have permission to sell it, so don’t ask. 🙂