Did you know that mead is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages with a history that goes as far back as 4,000 years?
Consumed across the world, including Asia, Europe and Africa, for thousands of years, mead or honey wine is also known as a “divine drink” or “drink of the gods”. It is a product of honey and water fermented by yeast and flavored with berries or certain other fruits, herbs and spices. With a long and glorious history, this beverage was a preferred drink across ancient cultures of Greece, Egypt, and China. Occupying a category on its own, like beer and wine, keep reading to learn more about mead.
Although you may have presumed mead to only taste sweat, you should know that the unmixed variety can also be dry or fruity. It’s floral, clean and often has a strong flavor.
2. Naturally gluten-free
Although some alcoholic beverages, like some beers and wine, use labels such as “Gluten-Free”, “Processed”, ‘Treated”, or “Crafted”, their claims can be misleading to consumers who seek to avoid gluten consumption like grains for health reasons. While, on the one hand, some drinks use artificial sweeteners and caffeine for increased intoxication, a good brand of mead typically uses honey as the primary ingredient. Also, one must know that the drink’s sweetening content is naturally higher than beverages like beer or wine. Consequently, the mead’s alcohol content, i.e., the ABV (alcohol by volume) percentage, is higher.
With over 8,000 years of consumption history, humans have had enough time to learn how to make mead and find ways to tone up or down the ABV value. Honey has nutritional benefits and is easier for the body to metabolize. Most popular types of mead like Metheglin or Great Mead are made with organic ingredients such as honey, water and peppercorns. The absence of carbonated juices, spices or additives results in a naturally gluten-free beverage.
3. User-friendly drinking temperatures
Archaeological evidence shows that mead is one of the oldest alcoholic drinks in the world. Some of the oldest civilizations have enjoyed it. One can either have it hot, i.e., 50–55℃ or cold, i.e., 12–16℃. It can make for a warming or cooling treat based on the weather. You should only heat or chill the amount of mead you will consume because if left unattended, the beverage can start to foam and lose its taste and quality very quickly. The user-friendly drinking temperature also lets you choose a drink based on your preference or health condition.
You can choose a style of mead depending on its ideal serves and your preference, as you can best appreciate scotch on the rocks, i.e., by adding ice to it, so that you can drink it by primarily keeping it cold and slightly diluting it over time. An ideal serve of the traditional beverage is around 125ml, whether you pour it in a tumbler or wine glass. The drink’s aromas, texture, and gluten-free character tend to undergo some modifications with mixing. One can also use frozen berries or grapes instead of ice to keep the drink cool and add a gentle flavoring without dilution.
5. Food pairings
Pairing food with mead depends on the user’s choice and medical condition. For example, if you choose the beverage for an intoxication without gluten, you should avoid pairings like pizza or cakes. Some users scientifically evaluate the reaction between the mead flavorings and taste buds. Spicy and fruity flavors generally have a refreshing feeling, whereas cheese works best with dry meads. Accompanying your meat or fish meal with mead also works best for a gluten-free food pairing.
The taste of mead varies with the source of the honey. The best way to understand the flavor is to slowly drink the first mouthful and have it cover all parts of your tongue.