Mead has been important for a lot of ancient cultures and is called the drink of the gods. So how does it differ from the other alcoholic drinks?
Where did mead come from?
Mead has been produced by various ancient peoples.It has been discovered in northern China to the Bell Beaker Culture in Europe. People wrote about it in the Rigved and Beowulf. Aristotle and Pliny the Elder also wrote about it.
Its name comes from the old English word meodu. It has been called medd, meathe or meath and many more names in Europe, Africa and Asia. What separates it from other alcoholic drinks is that instead of using sugar for fermentation, the mead uses honey.
What are the ingredients of mead?
The basic ingredients of mead are honey and water. Sometimes it’s marketed as honey wine because of that. Nowadays, it’s flavored with hops, fruits, grains and spices. These additions are placed after the honey is diluted with water and before the must or mixture is fermented. Sometimes the fruit juice or pieces of fruit replace the honey entirely.
The must is first heated before adding the yeast. Others do not heat the must to retain the honey’s aroma. Then they must is fermented using not only the yeast, but powdered nutrients too.
There are shops that classify mead as a type of beer if it contains hops. Compared to beer and wine, mead generally his a higher alcohol content. Once the fermentation is done, the mead is aged for a few months to a few years to mature it.
What are the types of mead?
The following are a few of the most common varieties of mead.
1. Traditional Mead does not contain flavorings. Only the basic ingredients such as water, honey and yeast are used.
2. Braggot is mead brewed with malt and hops or mead mixed with beer.
3. Melomel is mead with fruit additives.
4. Hydromel is watered mead.
5. Great Mead is aged mead.
6. Sack Mead contains more honey to produce a stronger mead.
7. Tej is an Ethiopian and Eritrean mead with powdered gesho leaves.
8. Metheglin is mead with spices or herbs. Tej is a type of metheglin as well as the capsicumel, which is mead with chili peppers.
9. Pyment is mead fermented with grape juice.
The varieties are endless however. There are types which are served hot or cold and carbonated or spiced. Mead isn’t just sweet, you’ll also find types which are dry.
What are the best mead that I should try?
Mead has gone out of fashion for a while, but today it is gaining popularity among food and drink enthusiasts. These are the best mead you need to try.
1. Schramm’s The Heart of Darkness
2. Lindisfarne Mead
3. Dansk Mjod Viking Blod
4. Superstition Straw Berry White
5. Mab Mead Hounds Of Annwn
6. B. Nektar Zombie Killer
7. Lyme Bay Christmas Mead
8. Sahtipaja MeadMe Batch #2 Bourbon Vanilla
9. Kuhnhenn Bourbon Barrel French Toast Mead
10. Lancashire Skadi Mead
11. Apis Poltorak Jadwiga
12. Mabinogion Mead Transformation to Eagle
13. Gosnells London Mead
14. Medovina Sweet Melissa
15. Omnipollo Magic 1.618