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“Nectar of the Gods” or “Ambrosia” as they say in Greek Mythology is the famous alcoholic drink back then. Currently, we know it by the term “mead”.
Also known as honey “wine”, mead is an ancient drink which is older than beer and wine. In fact, beer and wine are considered as descendants of mead. But despite it being old, mead is unknown to most people. That’s the reason why Don’t worry I’m here to talk about what is mead and what does it taste like.
First, let me introduce to you a brief history of mead.
History Of Mead
There are three major alcohols in human history: beer, wine, and mead. They all started from some kind of sugar. The source of sugar in these drinks helps in the fermentation process. Here are some common sources of sugar for alcoholic drinks:
Mead is the first major alcohol to be produced because honey, its sugar source, is accessible anywhere.
There is evidence that Romans, Greek, Egyptians and even Asians have drank this beverage in the earlier times. However, only the rich and powerful had the privilege to drink this.
The discovery of wine (about 20,000 to 40,000 years ago) pave the way for peasants or people in the lower classes to have the chance to drink mead since wine replaced mead’s rank in the upper class.
In the middle ages, mead disappeared because it was then only used in Northern Europe for rituals. Nevertheless, more and more people nowadays are starting to rediscover its unique flavor and winemakers are starting to produce it.
Fun Facts About Mead
Mead’s fermentation process is exactly the same with wine and beer.
But, mead has a higher sugar concentration than wine and a lesser alcohol percentage and proof than beer. After the fermentation process and packaging process, there is a high possibility that it undergoes a second or even third fermentation.
These additional fermentation processes result to the final taste of mead. You will notice this process when the “chain” of bubbles rise from the lid when it’s shaken. It’s similar when you shake beer and wine wherein bubbles form in the lid due to the fermentation process. In contrast, mead has fewer bubbles when shaken because it has a lower alcohol and sugar content compared to the two.
Mead can have different colors due to the consequences of the fermentation process and the varieties of honey used. When you buy a bottle of mead, you may notice deposits on the bottom. This are just sediments from the honey used and have no influence whatsoever on the quality of the drink.
What Does Mead Taste Like?
There’s no definite answer as to what mead tastes like because it can have a wide range of flavors, nuances, and aftertaste just like any alcoholic beverage.
Instead of telling you what it taste like, first I will tell you what it doesn't taste like.
The mead produced in our era will not taste like the original mead produced in the ancient times. In fact, modern mead tastes way way better because, in our era, we use high-quality yeast which wasn’t available back then.
Although, if made with a poor quality of yeast or by using the wrong technique, mead will likely taste bad and will have a poor quality. The honey used for the fermentation process must be the best quality to get the absolute best taste of the mead.
Also, alcohol enthusiasts recommend that you taste the honey first before making it as this will have the biggest influence in the final taste of the drink.
The water used in the process is just as important! Experts recommend the use of rainwater. For other alternatives, you may use spring water or distilled water. Never ever make mead with tap water! It comes from the sewers so you don’t know what kind of bacteria or sediments come with it.
If you like your alcoholic beverage sweet and would love to try mead for the first time, I suggest you ask for a two-year old mead. The duration of the fermentation process in this kind of mead has a fresh floral taste with hints of honey and has a low alcoholic concentration. Due to the effect of the second or third fermentation, you might even enjoy sweet sparkling mead! It’s perfect to pair up with desserts.
If you want a stronger and drier flavor, you will probably have to wait a little longer than two years.
How To Make Mead At Home
If you’re an aspiring mead maker and you want to your own “craft” mead, watch the video below on how to make mead at home.
Mead has no unique flavor or taste. You can alter its flavor by using different varieties of honey and prolonging the duration of the fermentation process. You can even add extra ingredients such as fruits and spices to level the flavor up!
Have you ever made or tasted mead before? If not, would you try it? Leave a comment below and tell us what you think about this drink and why do you like it. If you like this post, please share it. Cheers!