What is mead? Describing mead to someone who’s never had it before can be a little difficult. Here we’ll go over the basics and teach you everything you need to know. Hopefully by the time you’re done reading, you’ll be as excited as we were to try it our first time, and fall in love with this prehistoric beverage.
So what is mead exactly?
The definition of mead is: an alcoholic beverage, in which the sugars for fermentation come from honey. A basic traditional mead consists of honey, water and yeast. Mead is believed to be one of the first alcoholic beverages ever consumed by man.
Beyond your basic mead there are quite a few subcategories. These are some of the more popular:
Melomel: A melomel is a mead that has had fruit added either during or after fermentation. This is the most popular type of mead made today and has a very broad range of recipes.
Metheglin: Metheglin is a spiced or medicated variety of mead. Interestingly the word metheglin comes from the old Welsh word for medicine. Next time you have a cold, try a nice warm spiced mead in place of a hot toddie and you’ll see why.
Braggot: A braggot is like a cross between mead and beer. Braggots are made with malted grains.
Cyser: Cysers are meads made from apples or apple juice.
Pyment: Pyments are a cross between wine and mead. Pyment can describe both mead’s with grapes added and wine with honey added.
Just like with wine, there are many more subcategories of mead than the ones we have listed here. These are the ones you’re most likely to run into.
What does mead taste like?
This is a bit of a tough question to answer, it’s kind of like asking what does beer taste like? There are many different styles of mead available. Even the type of honey used, can have a huge impact on the flavor of a mead.
The best way to give you an idea of how mead tastes, is to tell you that there are over 600,000 pollination’s in your average bottle of mead.
Yup, that’s 600,000 flowers in every bottle of mead. My favorite description is “it tastes like sunshine and flowers in a bottle”, but even this doesn’t really do it justice. There’s really nothing that tastes quite as delicious and satisfying as a really good mead.
How can you get your hands on some mead?
Lucky for you mead is one of the fastest growing alcoholic beverages in the united states. Meaderies are beginning to pop up everywhere. If you’d like to find one close to you, visit our directory of meaderies. If you’re not close to a meadery, take a stab at making your very own mead with one of our Make Your First Mead Kits that take less than 30 minutes and taste absolutely wonderful.
To find out even more about mead, watch our interview with Frank Golbeck of Golden Coast Mead it was a lot of fun, and has tons of great information.