Made with honey, yeast and water, mead is one of the oldest fermented alcoholic beverages known to man. Although its exact origins are unknown, there are historical documents describing the Greeks drinking a honey and water mixture, referred to as "nectar of the Gods", as a way to honor the Goddess Aphrodite. It is also widely known that the Nordic Vikings celebrated their long journeys and voyages with mead. Norseman would drink mead from the skulls of their enemies. The Norse Gods would give mead to goddesses to seduce them. Both the Egyptian pharaoh, King Tut, and the Norse explorer Erik the Red, both enjoyed mead greatly. But one of the most noteworthy fact about mead is that it's origin comes from wedding celebrations, hence the term "honeymoon". Mead was drunk as part of the wedding festivities to celebrate fertility and the birth of sons. To learn more about the history of mead and the different types of mead, click on images/links below.
There are different types of meads, depending on the ingredients added, to make the mead. Our blueberry mead, Purple Reign, and our strawberry mead, That's My Jam, are melomels, a style made with fruit juices. Honey Lavender is considered a metheglin, a mead made with herbs and spices. By caramelizing the honey before fermentation, ToffeeScotch is a bochet mead. Mead flavors not only vary from the added ingredients, but also from the honey varietals used to ferment and make mead. According to the National Honey Board, there are over 3000 honey varietals.
Many beer and cider breweries have taken a huge interest in mead, unlike the wine world, which is why we're hoping to introduce more wine drinkers to this libation. In addition to adding fruit, spices, blending and barreling mead, many meaderies produce and serve a carbonated mead known as a session mead, where the alcohol by volume is about half of that of a standard mead, which goes up to about 14%. Anything above 14% is considered a sack mead. While session beers only reach about 3-5% ABV, session meads can obtain up to 6.5% ABV. Naturally, most session meads are served cold or on tap.
All of Blue Honey's current meads are standard meads with ABVs of 14%. Because our meads are not carbonated, they can be served slightly chilled or room temperature. We prefer and suggest trying our meads at room temperature, to really taste the varietal honey notes. However, we recommend enjoying our meads however you like! There's no right or wrong way to enjoy mead. We currently have a pyment mead in the works which is made with grapes and honey. We also just bottled our cyser bochet mead (apple bochet) just in time for the holidays! This one's going to delight the festive palate. We haven't done a braggot mead yet, which is a mead made with grains and hops, and fermented with---you guessed it--honey. But that's possibly coming up in the near future. As you can see, the misnomer that mead is a thick, super sweet mead is just that. With fruits, vegetables, spices, oak-barreling and caramelization, the mead possibilities are virtually endless. The key ingredient though, is always HONEY.