Most people know that beer is an age-old drink brewed from fermented grains, and wine is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting fruit, but few have ever heard of mead, often referred to as “nectar of the gods,” made from fermented honey.
Mead is almost certainly the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man and likely discovered before the wheel was invented. As long as there have been bees and honey there has been mead.
Mead’s popularity has waxed and waned and is currently on the rise throughout the world. The history of mead has roots in royalty, religion, sex, and violence throughout the ages of time and cultures of the world.
But mead’s real claim to fame is in its origins in wedding celebrations, hence the word “honeymoon.” Mead was traditionally drunk during the month-long celebrations following weddings to insure fertility and the birth of sons. If, per chance, the bride did, in fact, bear a son nine months later, the maker of the mead was complimented on its quality.
* Melomel is mead made with fruit juices.
* Pyment is mead made specifically with grape juice.
* Cyser is mead made specifically with apple juice.
* Metheglin is mead made with herbs or spices or both.
* Hippocras is pyment (mead with grape juice) made with herbs and/or spices.
* Braggot is a honey-ale beverage made by fermenting honey and grains together.