All alcohol drinkers and fanatics have obviously heard of wine and beer, but few are well acquainted with mead. What is it exactly? Is it wine or beer?
Well, look no further as this guide I’ve come up with should enlighten you on what mead really is and everything that you need to know about this tasty and versatile beverage that came into existence 4,000 years ago.
Mead is a form of alcoholic beverage made by mixing honey, sugar, and water and fermenting it with yeast in simple terms. The drink has varying levels of sweetness, and several various ingredients can be added to it, including fruits, spices, herbs, or malted grains.
Mead is often considered as a form of wine, though it doesn’t use grapes. The grapes are replaced with honey. It’s also one of the oldest alcoholic beverages. It originated from Greece but is now popular throughout Europe, Asia, and Africa.
What does mead taste like?
Since the traditional mead is made with honey, the most prominent flavor arising from this beverage is the sweet notes of honey. The taste can also be compared to that of wine.
Depending on how carbonated mead is, the taste varies. For example, fizzy carbonated ones have a flavor similar to that of beer, and the non-carbonated one is slightly sweeter and does not form foam.
On the other hand, mead is made with a myriad of ingredients. Depending on what’s added to the drink, the flavor profile changes. For instance, if you incorporate berries, the taste is sweet. However, if you add spices and herbs, you get a bitter taste.
How can mead be used?
Mead is popularly used as a sweet beverage and is most often distributed in bars and dispensaries nowadays. However, that wasn’t the case initially when the drink was made.
Thousands of years ago, mead was made traditionally for medicinal purposes due to its health benefits. Since it contains honey, an ingredient best used for healing and treatment, it was believed that mead would also hold the same properties.
Also, because of the bacteria in the drink produced from the fermentation, the probiotics in the drink are said to improve overall physical health. Still, there’s no scientific evidence to support these claims.
Research suggests, though, that any benefits offered by mead are counteracted by the high amounts of alcohol, which can lead to gut and kidney health problems.
The ancient drink was also considered to enhance fertility and sexual desires. For that reason, the drink was popularly gifted in large amounts to brides and grooms. The drink inspired the word “honeymoon.”
Types of mead
As mentioned, mead is commonly mixed with other ingredients to create varying and unique versions of the drink. Here are the most common types of mead.
This type of mead predominantly contains maple syrup and is quite sweet.
This type of fruity mead contains black currants.
This type of mead is often confused with wine because it contains grapes; however, the two are different. This is because there’s still a significant amount of honey present in this type of mead, which is not the case with wine.
This type of mead contains brewed coffee or espresso.
This is another popular type of mead made by mixing mulberry with traditional mead.
The bottom line
For those who have yet to try mead, you must get your hands on it ASAP. Mead-makers have been experimenting with the drink and enhancing its flavor for hundreds of years.
Truly one of the most versatile alcoholic beverages that exist, mead simply gives you all the more reason to try it out!