Mead is a sweet alcoholic beverage that humans have enjoyed for centuries. It’s made from fermenting honey, water, and yeast. The drink has deep roots in history, referencing ancient mythology and literature. Today, mead continues to be a popular drink among many cultures. This article will explore the rich history behind this fermented nectar.
Mead’s origins can be traced back to ancient civilizations such as the Greeks, Romans, and Vikings. The word “honeymoon” originated from a Viking custom where newly married couples would consume mead during their first month of marriage – this was believed to increase fertility and vitality.
In Norse mythology, it is said that mead was created by the gods themselves using honey as their primary ingredient. The story goes that the gods eventually gave up their mead recipe so humans could enjoy it.
Moving throughout history towards Medieval Europe, As time passed and Christianity became more widespread in Europe during the Middle Ages, many monasteries began producing mead for religious purposes. Monks believed that brewing mead brought people closer to God due to its natural sweetness.
After centuries of popularity worldwide, Mead saw a decline in demand during Industrialization. However, a growing interest emerged in the modern era around the 1960s, when people started rediscovering natural products, driving sustainable production & unique flavors. Therefore, this is reviving curiosity & experimentation.
Today there are numerous variations of traditional honey-based Meads ranging from dry or semi-sweet wine-like varieties and complex barrel-aged flavor experiences. Plenty of options are available for anyone who wants to try something new or even make their own homemade brew. As Promised, I have enclosed my favorite “mead recipe” below,
- 1-gallon pure freshwater
- 3 lbs of honey (preferably from a reputable local source.)
- One cinnamon stick
- Five whole cloves
- One pack of Lalvin D47 yeast
- Sanitize all the equipment you are going to use, including a 1-gallon glass carboy,
airlock, funnel, and siphon.
- Pour your pure sparkling water into your sanitized glass carboy.
- Slightly warm honey until it is melted and poured into the carboy.
- Add Cinnamon sticks, Whole clove & for additional aroma, add seasonal fruits such as Orange or Cherries,
- Allow your must mixture to cool down before adding in Lalvin D47 dried wine yeast. Ensure not to exceed the recommended temperature on the packaging when heating the yeast hydration step mentioned at the back of the package; if followed correctly, it assures the more excellent quality of Mead.
- Seal the airlock on Carboy.
It’s recommended to store Mead mixture between 15°C -18°C noting that fermentation is highest during the initial process, which can take up to a week, afterward have patience & add the aging variables listed below;
- Vanilla Beans, Oaks Chips-Spirit Aging
- Seasonal fruits
Mead is important in human history, with its traditions spanning cultures throughout generations. When it comes to production, the fundamentals remain intact, with ingredients such as honey and water bringing people together & also confirming why it holds so much cultural significance. With modernization today, more than ever, homebrewers worldwide are rediscovering tradition, sharing recipes, experimenting, and having access to new technologies, ultimately enthralling taste buds by creating exciting new Meads while staying true to timeless tradition through every sip! If you have not tried Mead, this nectar of the gods is well worth sampling!
It’s fascinating to see the evolution of mead over time from a holy drink made by monks to a beloved beverage enjoyed by people worldwide. With the rise in demand for all-natural products, it’s no wonder that mead has made a resurgence in recent years. Its versatility has allowed it to be paired with various foods like cheeses, meats, and desserts. Whether you savor traditional or modern variations of this divine drink, one thing is for sure- mead will always remain an iconic and cherished aspect of human history.