In the world of alcoholic beverages, mead has been making waves for a few years now. Since ancient times, this beverage has been known to humanity as "honey wine." It's an alcoholic drink made from fermenting honey and water. With the recent surge in popularity, many people are trying to discover it anew.
Its name - mead – makes it sound quite similar to beer or wine, but it's got its own distinct flavor profile and history. If you're looking for something new to try, or if you're already a fan looking for more information on the subject, look no further – we'll give you all the juicy details about honey mead!
History of Honey Mead:
The origins of mead can be traced back thousands of years – some experts estimate that it could have been discovered about 9,000 years ago in China! It was mostly consumed because early cultures believed drinking honey-based drinks like this would increase fertility rates.
Then there are Norse legends that state that mead was initially made from the spit/ saliva of Odin (the God). Of course, another theory suggests that families used to brew honey meads and celebrate various occasions, including weddings.
Mead was particularly popular during medieval times when sugar wasn't readily available; Honey was used as a natural sweetener instead. In fact, people deemed it so essential as an ingredient in their diets that they only considered themselves rich once they started raising bees and producing their own supply.
Revival & Popularity:
After centuries of falling out of favor commercially and in homes, honey mead – like a phoenix from the ashes - is finally resurgent. It’s been gaining popularity and winning over new fans all around the world.
This revival has inevitably led many bloggers and YouTubers to share their recipes and experiences with fellow enthusiasts and curious readers in article, video, or podcast formats. And why not? Both honey and meads have flavorful profiles that can vary vastly depending on the ingredients used. One person might like something sweet, while another might enjoy it more floral, while someone else might want to add some spice or even chocolate!
Mead Makers use unusual ingredients such as coffee beans, cherries, strawberries, lavender flowers, or ( wait for it) dill pickles! The possibilities of flavor combinations seem endless.
Recently, people have become more interested in their health, which has also contributed to meads’ appeal, given honey’s many benefits when compared with sugar; low glycemic index rating that doesn't compromise insulin levels, for example.
Even big brands have taken notice of this trend. Therefore, they’ve started offering their own bottles alongside some top-rated craft breweries currently dominating the headlines amongst beer lovers far across Europe and North America.
Varieties of Honey Mead available:
If you're looking to try mead yourself, then there are many different varieties available. Each one is created with varying components like yeast strains which can alter the taste dramatically too often. Fruit juices are added as well.
Traditional/Straight Honey Mead: In its purest form, honey is fermented along water together only.
- Melomel: Contains not just honey but also fruits, including berries, pears, etc., passed through the fermentation process.
- Cyser: A variation of Melomel comprising apple juice.
- Pyment: This cyser counterpart contains grapes rather than apples.
- Braggot- Looks similar compared to modern beer with its grain addition in it, as well as honey.
- Metheglin: Spiced honey mead that must be mixed with herbs.
- Hydromel: Just a lighter version of traditional straight mead with lower alcohol volume percentages.
In conclusion, Honey Meads has been around for thousands of years, yet it feels like we're only beginning to appreciate this delicious drink all over again. With the rise of online DIY-friendly cultures and innovative mindsets by brewers, developing exciting versions through various ingredients, they bring new life to an old tradition. Even when casual drinkers aren’t indulging themselves in discovering new intoxicating flavors or reading up on history these days, it's always there on restaurants menus alongside.