What is mead?
Mead, the world’s oldest alcoholic drink, is created by honey and water fermented with yeast, sometimes containing various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. It is believed that mead was essentially first been discovered when accidentally some honey got wet. When raw honey gets moisture into it, there is a chance that natural yeast will start a fermentation process that converts the sugar in honey into alcohol. Nowadays, the yeast used in mead making is often identical to that used in winemaking.
The earliest recorded evidence of mead’s existence dates from 7000BC, where archaeologists discovered pottery vessels in northern China that have shown chemical signatures consistent with honey, rice, and organic compounds associated with fermentation. Once the Vikings’ drink of choice, it was also believed to improve health and prolong life.
Mead has also long been rumoured to have aphrodisiac properties, so it was presented to newlyweds to enjoy during what we now call their “honeymoon”. In fact, because drinking mead was thought to ensure a fruitful union bearing plenty of children, the bride’s father traditionally included a month’s worth of mead in her dowry.
The alcoholic content of mead ranges from about 3.5% ABV to more than 18%. Mead may be still, carbonated, naturally sparkling, dry, semi-sweet, or sweet. Next to Gin, mead is the fastest-selling alcoholic beverage worldwide, and here at Lyme Bay, we have a delectable array of delicious meads to enjoy.