What the Heck is Mead??
Mead is quite simply wine made out of honey. Some would argue that it is not actually wine... nor is it really any other type of alcohol... it is an animal all its own... and that is okay... everyone likes to be unique right?
Some say it was the first type of alcoholic beverage dating back over 8,000 years. Either way... it is delicious.
Traditional meads are made using only honey, water, and yeast. But the name of this delicious honey wine changes if you add other stuff to it.
If you add spices such as vanilla, cloves, ginger, cinnamon, etc then you will have what is called Metheglyn.
If you add fruit to your mixture then it is called melomel.
Other types of Melomel include:
If you add mulberries - You have Morat
If you add pears - You have Perry
If you add apple juice - You have Cyser
If you add grapes - You have Pyment (add spices to your Pyment and you get Hippocras)
Mead with more honey than usual is called Sack - more honey means more alcohol content...
I thought that it was interesting that the term "honeymoon" came from newly wedded couples drinking mead for a month after the wedding which was supposed to ensure baby boys. In my book it only ensures a perpetual hangover... but to each his own. I still thought it was interesting...
Can I use any kind of honey?
I had someone ask me if you had to use honey from bees. I was very confused at this question. I was pretty sure that ALL honey came from bees... but because the question was asked... I started to doubt myself... But don't worry... it is not hard to make me question myself... sometimes I do it out loud in which case I am now talking to myself. My family doesn't really get freaked out any more and just kind of ignores it.
Who is mom talking to??
Who do you think? Herself! Again!
Aaahhh.... so... what's for dinner?
Yep... happens all the time.
Yikes... I am rambling... okay... back to the question at hand...
What this person meant by asking if you had to use honey from bees was if she had to go to a beekeeper to get honey or could she use some from the store.
What I should have told her is that she could definitely get some from an apiary (a bee keeper) which would be the best if it was possible... and then she would have thought I was talking about going to the monkey cage at the zoo... which is fun of course... but not a very productive trip if you are looking for honey... that would have been funny!! I should call her...
In general though... honey from the grocery store is not a good choice to make mead. It has been so processed that it just will not work very well... great on toast... not so great for mead.
Fine... Then Where Do I Get Honey?
Well... you can check out a local apiary if you happen to have any near you or if you live near a university that has an agricultural department they will sometimes sell honey. I have a friend who got some honey from an exterminator friend of his. He pulled a huge hive of bees out and gave the honey to my friend. I thought that was pretty cool. If you have farmers markets in your area or local roadside stands you can meet people who sell honey and the annual fair will quite often have people there who sell honey.
The thing is... you want to get honey that has not had the heck processed out of it. When you buy it in the store it may have been heat pasteurized, filtered or blended so that it does not crystallize.... which for mead is not a big deal... you just heat the crystallized honey up slowly and it will turn back into liquid.
Okay... So Now I Want Some Honey Toast... and a Recipe ...
Well then... can't really help you out with the honey toast thing... but check this out for a
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