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Oct 23, 2014

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Mead

Thanks to Julia Herz at Honeywine.com for her guidance and assistance in compiling this section.

MeadMade from honey, a food dating back 14 million years by some accounts, it seems very appropriate that Meads origins, shrouded by eons of history and mystery, are uncovered in virtually every level of the development of civilization. Considering the possibility that a crude form of the drink could easily have spontaneously occurred through ingress of water and naturally occurring yeast, it could be the first alcoholic beverage to pass the lips of man.

Known by many names and as different as individual snowflakes, Mead is a global beverage. Predating both grape wine and beer, it's known in various forms on every continent on Earth. Mead is perhaps best known as the preferred drink of Vikings and Celts, beloved by re-enactors everywhere as the authentic drink of the medieval times.

Don't just grab and gulp, you barbarian! Engage all your senses to get the most from each style of mead you sample. Tips for tasting, serving and cellaring.

Honey wine is called Idromele in Italy, and Meodu in Old English. What's the difference between Melomel and Pyment? Our primer will help you talk the talk.

Mead makers in modern times are pushing the envelope of what mead can be, with often weird, but always interesting results. Some meads only the maker can love. Others, like the milk mead, have garnered surprisingly positive feedback, both from mead lovers and mead judges at competitions! Including a quick guide to making your own.

Ah, mead. If memory serves David Myers right, this is the oldest of all fermented beverages. He writes: "It's a nectar of the gods, makes-you-want-to-sack-a-village type of beverage. The first time my lips ever touched this magnificent elixir I was at Charlie Papazian's home in the early 90's. I had the good fortune of winning a pair of tickets at my local homebrew club's auction fundraiser."

Like malt for beer, the type of honey used to make honey wine has a great influence on the final product. There are over 300 distinct varieties of honey, and many are used for making mead. Getting started.

Recipes from The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelme Digbie Kt Opened: Whereby is Discovered Several ways for making of Metheglin, Sider, Cherry-Wine, &c. together with Excellent Directions for Cookery: As also for Preserving, Conserving, Candying, &c. First edition, London, 1669.

Poland's mead making is documented to the 12th century, and for over 1,000 years before that, the Slavs made mead there. The meads are Jadwiga and Kurpiowski.

The number of producers of quality meads is growing at a rapid rate. Check out the winners of the 2004 International Mead Fest.
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