|Alcohol by volume||3.5–20.5%|
|Flavor||dry, sweet or semi-sweet|
|Ingredients||honey, water, fruit, herbs, spices|
|Variants||metheglyn, chouchen, bochet,|
|Related products||tej, midus, medovukha, bais, balché|
Mead (//), also called hydromel (particularly when low in alcohol content), is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey mixed with water, and sometimes with added ingredients such as fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content ranges from about 3.5% ABV to more than 20%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling; dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
Mead that also contains spices is called metheglin (//), and mead that contains fruit is called melomel. The term honey wine is sometimes used as a synonym for mead, although wine is typically defined to be the product of fermented grapes or certain other fruits, and some cultures have honey wines that are distinct from mead. The honey wine of Hungary, for example, is the fermentation of honey-sweetened pomace of grapes or other fruits.
Mead was produced in ancient times throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, and has played an important role in the mythology of some peoples. In Norse mythology, for example, the Mead of Poetry, crafted from the blood of Kvasir (a wise being born from the mingled spittle of the Aesir and Vanir deities) would turn anyone who drank it into a poet or scholar.
He next ... bids ... Halfdan recollect ... that to produce mead hops must be mingled with the honey;That this formula is still in use is shown by the recipe for "Real Monastery Mead" in Molokhovets, Elena (1998). Classic Russian Cooking: Elena Molokhovets' A Gift to Young Housewives. Translated by Joyce Stetson. Indiana University Press. p. 474. ISBN 978-0-253-21210-8.
...Therefore to our synopsis: Mead is the general name for all drinks made of honey.
...mead was known in Europe long before wine, although archaeological evidence of it is rather ambiguous. This is principally because the confirmed presence of beeswax or certain types of pollen ... is only indicative of the presence of honey (which could have been used for sweetening some other drink) – not necessarily of the production of mead.