April showers bring May flowers…
Aaaaaaand, with flowers come bees, bees make honey, people turn honey into Mead. Boom.
Mead is a “honey wine” (actually, not ‘wine‘ as wine comes from a fruit base, but we’ll dive into that in another post later this summer…) that is made from combining fermenting honey with water, fruits, spices, grains, or hops (depending on the preferred final flavors or regional style). The thing that differentiates Mead from fruit wines is that the primary source of sugars for the yeasts to convert to alcohol comes from the honey itself.
Mead can range from still to naturally sparkling, and dry to sweet, so always check the labels.
Mead can be mulled in the winter time like wine, but it is not recommended in these upcoming summer months (unless you live in Alaska like Owen, and the night temps can get down to the very comfortable upper 40s, low 50s – in that case, mull away).
Mead, like wine, has played a very important part in human history and mythology: Since ancient times, Mead has been produced through Africa, Asia, and Europe. From a historical standpoint, evidence has been found for Mead production in China dating back to ~7000 BC. And for a fun mythological anecdote, Norse mythology has a story of a Mead that was produced from the blood of the extremely wise Kvasir, and drinking of this Mead of Poetry would instantly make one a scholar or poet.
Do yourself a favor and acquire some Mead this month, even if you’ve never tried it before, and toast to the coming Summer and the close of Spring, a time that in absence would leave us without this delectable treat, and who knows, maybe you’ll write the next great sonnet or novel!
…or move to Alaska and have to mull it in May….