If the word ‘mead’ has you thinking of medieval characters playing the lute and dancing around a maypole, then you’re thinking of the right stuff. Who knew that the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage would be back with a bang? But what is mead anyway and how is it made? It’s time to get your mead on and party like it’s 1399…
The oldest alcohol on record
Believe it or not, mead is the oldest alcohol on record. In fact, it’s likely to have existed even way before records began as honey from beehives and rainwater mixed and fermented, then was drunk by our hunting ancestors who discovered its ‘magical’ effects - although no one would have known what fermentation was for another few centuries. It was drunk not just in England, but all around the world and while production declined in Europe literally for centuries, it was probably always made somewhere. References to mythical and magical mead can be found all over history and in literature. And then we found out that the magic ingredient was booze. Awesome.
What is mead and how is it made?
In its simplest form, mead is honey blended with water and fermented to between 3.5% and 10% abv. That’s it. It is not wine sweetened with honey. It is not a cider or a style of craft beer; it is mead and it sits in its very own category, which is a blessing, but could also be a curse as it's hard to know where to put it on a drinks list.