The original resource on authentic Honey Wine - THE Reinheitsgebot of MEAD!





WHAT IS TRADITIONAL MEAD?

This website is about the preservation of a species: Mead, in its unadulterated form. Traditional Mead is for the purist.

An often-misunderstood drink, mead or traditional mead in its pure form is a beverage made from honey fermented with water. If it contains any other flavorings or coloring additives such as fruit, herbs, or spices then it is not an authentic pure Mead - it is called something else (see list below). Mead's alcohol potency by volume is characteristically similar to grape wine, but sometimes less and sometimes as high as Port. Because honey is equated to sweetness those who never had Mead might think it is cloyingly sweet, however depending on how it is made, Mead can be a very dry elegant drink, sweeter than dessert wines, or anything in between.

Mead’s flavor and aroma come from the type of honey that is used and to a lesser extent by the type of yeast used, and if the Mead is aged in oak or other wood casks. However, these flavors and aromas should never overpower the wonderful properties of the honey used.

Traditional Mead made from quality raw honey (especially from a single flower source) focuses on the essence of the hive (which can include in addition to honey: propolis, royal jelly, bees-wax, etc.). Pure Mead needs nothing else added; it speaks for itself and does so quite decisively and yet eloquently - just as a Cabernet Sauvignon does, just as Viognier does. Celebrated single grape wines do not need herbs, other fruits, or spices, and neither does a well-made Mead, in my opinion of course!

Below is a short listing of other names of mead, and its variants:

Półtorak: The Polish name for a traditional mead, made using two to three units of honey for each unit of water. It can sometime have adjuncts.

Dwójniak: The Polish name for a traditional mead, made using equal amounts of water and honey. It can sometime have adjuncts.

Trójniak: The Polish name for a traditional mead, made using two units of water for each unit of honey. It can sometime have adjuncts.

Czwórniak: The Polish name for a traditional mead, made using three units of water for each unit of honey. It can sometime have adjuncts.

Blossomel: A honey wine fermented or flavored with flower blossoms. A subcategory of Metheglin

Braggot: A honey wine and malted grain hybrid (Mead meets beer?)

Cyser: A honey wine made with apples or apple juice.

Hippocras: A spiced pyment.

Melomel: A honey wine fermented or flavored with fruit or its juice.

Metheglin: A honey wine fermented or flavored with herbs and/or spices.

Pyment: A honey wine fermented or flavored with grapes or their juices.

Rhodomel: A subcategory of Blossomel, it is a honey wine fermented or flavored with rose petals or rose water. Its source is said to be Roman.

It should also be noted that, in many cultures, it was or is traditional to add certain adjuncts to their honey wines. However, Traditional Mead has become the accepted name for honey wines with no additives, or also known as, pure, authentic - or just plain, Mead.