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.
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.
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.