Mead Information

What is Mead?

 Mead or "Honey Wine" (a misnomer), is the oldest  fermented drink known to man. It has been around since man came across  the first honey tree, that had flooded and then fermented, smelled OH SO  GOOD and tasted even better. * True or not that's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

 

Honey-based beverages trace their way back to civilizations including the Egyptians, Greeks, Celts, and Mayans. 

In the Nordic Countries the oldest known written recipe is from 1520 by the Archbishop Olas Magnus. 
 The earliest archaeological evidence for the  production of mead dates to around 7,000 B.C. Having roots throughout  Europe, Africa and Asia. 
  Not all meads are created equal. Mead  is an alcoholic beverage made with honey as the primary ingredient,  with water and yeast added for the fermentation. True meads have one key  thing in common, the primary ingredient is honey. There are places that  will take white wine and flavor or 'back feed' with honey to try and  pass this off as Mead, it is not.  Honey is many times  more expensive than grapes to use as an ingredient. Only with a true  mead will you get the flavors that have made mead so legendary.   Mead can be dry, medium, or sweet just like  grape and other wines. It can also have many different fruits or spices  added to it to create different flavors and aromas. These different  types of mead all have special names. The one thing that never changes  is that the primary ferment is always honey.
 There are many different recipes for mead.  Depending on the things added during the fermentation process and  proportions of honey and water the names can vary greatly. 

What Kinds of Mead are There?

  •  Mead Styles (Some common ones)           
  • Mead - made with honey, water and yeast
  • Sack Mead - a sweeter Mead, with more honey      
  • Melomel - honey with fruit or fruit juice    
  • Metheglin - honey with spices and extracts
  • Acerglyn - honey with maple syrup      
  • Morat - honey with mulberries          
  • Pyment - with both honey and grapes       
  • Hippocras - with honey, grapes and spices 
  • Cyser - honey and apples* or apple cider  *Can also be made with peach, cherry or pear cider.       
  • Braggot - honey and malt, sort of a Mead-Beer       
  • Oxymel - Mead mixed with wine vinegar    
  • Rhodomel - honey with Attar, a rose petal distillate, or rose petals
  • Capsicumel - honey with chile peppers      
  • Omphacomel - Mead and Verjuice, the juice of unripe grapes       
  • T'ej - with honey, water and hops. It is the national drink of Ethiopia, and has a unique taste. 

As you can see there are many different types of  Mead. The list can go on as long as your imagination can come up with  things to try.  The only rule is that the primary ferment be honey for  it to be a Mead. 


Other Country's Names for Mead

  •  Aguamiel - Spanish mead         
  •  Balche - Mayan mind altering mead made with balche bark.  
  • Chouchen - Breton ( France ) mead      
  • Hidromel - Portuguese mead       
  • Hydromel - French mead           
  • Idromele - Italian mead              
  • Med - Bulgarian and Ukranian mead 
  • Meddeglyn or myddyglyn - Welsh spiced mead 
  • Mede - Dutch mead 
  • Medovina - Czech and Slovak mead 
  • Medovukha - Russian mead 
  • Medu - Ancient? German mead 
  • Medus - Lithuanian and/or Latvian honey 
  • Meis - Eritrean mead 
  • Meodu - Old English word for mead 
  • Met - German mead
  • Midus - Lithuanian mead 
  • Miod - Polish mead 
  • Mjod - Danish and Norwegian mead 
  • Mjod - Swedish mead
  • Modu - Estonian honey beer 
  • Nabidh - Arabic mead 
  • Sima - Finnish mead 
  • T'ej - Ethiopian mead (since about 400BC) 
  • Ydromeli - Greek mead Some other  not so common names for mead 
  • Madhu - from the Sanscrit Vedas Nectar or Ambrosia - from the Greek and Roman mythologies 
  • Alu - Prussian for mead 
  • Methe - Ancient Greek for mead 
  • Mede - Frisian, and low German 
  • Metu or Mitu - Old High German 
  • Meth - German 
  • Melikatos - old Greek (morphed into hydromeli in present)
     *Name research and information courtesy of Forrest Scott of the Mead Maker's Page, and Vicky of GotMead.com