Mead Making

Honey, Water and Yeast Make the Ancient Drink Called Mead

homemade mead with mulling spices

Changing Honey into Wine

Mead is the oldest alcohol containing drink known to man. In prehistoric times, honey would drip from hives and collect in pools of water. Wild yeast would consume the sugar and produce the ‘Nectar of the Gods’. Almost every civilization has lore and myths associated with the consumption of mead. As civilizations grew, honey became less plentiful. A substitute of fermentable sugar was needed to fill the demand for wine. It is not by chance that wine made from honey tastes very much like the grape wines we drink today. Most people expect a honey sweet, syrupy drink better suited for pancakes and not the light, dry clean flavor of fine white wine. There should be no surprise. It is not by accident that grape wine tastes so much like mead. There was a time when all wine was made of honey and the grape version was unknown. This was thousands and thousands of years ago when honey was plentiful and flowed like milk. The ‘Land of Milk and Honey’ may be a reference to this point in history. As civilization grew, the honey bee suffered the ecological effects of the wilderness disappearing, and the easily available honey supply dried up along with the wine. A substitute for honey was needed but, it had to taste like mead. The grape emerged as the most economical substitute and cultivation of grapes became big business.

honey bee hives produce the amber gold sweetness that makes mead.