A brief guide to mead

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With National Mead Day having been celebrated recently, on 6th August, here’s a quick guide to what could possibly be the original alcoholic beverage.

What is mead?

Even though mead is often known as a honey wine, it isn’t actually classified as a wine because it doesn’t contain fruit. Even those varieties of the beverage that have been flavoured with fruit are still not considered to be a wine. The drink sits within its own category of alcohol and is made from honey, water and yeast.

The history of mead

It is thought that ancient Chinese artefacts, which have been dated at 7,000 B.C, show the process of mead fermentation. Many believe it is likely that the drink was accidentally discovered when foragers drank from a flooded beehive in which the rainwater had fermented because of airborne yeast. It is known that mead was popular amongst many civilizations globally, including the Vikings, Ancient Egyptians and Greeks.

Drink of the gods

A number of ancient European cultures considered the bee to be a messenger of the gods and therefore associated mead with different magical powers, including immortality. In early England, mead was often considered medicinal when infused with certain herbs and spices. The drink was thought to help with ailments, including digestive issues.

Mead has a very interesting history, stretching back thousands of years. Apparently preferred by royalty and featured greatly in classical literature and poetry, mead is a beverage many people might have heard of but never tried. Why not try something new and enjoy a flavoured mead in engraved glassware?

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