Herbal Wines and Meads
Mead is an alcoholic beverage, and is made from fermenting honey, (diluted with water) with yeast. Mead is also referred to as “Honey Wine,” and although the main source of fermentable sugars in a mead come from honey, we sometimes add fruit, which also offers its fermentable sugars and delicious flavors. Adding other things to mead, like herbs and spices changes the “type” or “classification” of mead, and the most common term for this type of mead is called methoglin. Mead is most likely the oldest alcoholic beverage, and is referenced in many ancient texts throughout the world. Mead could easily be made in nature, imagine a bee hive that is built in a tree, a bear discovers it and excitedly reaches in to eat the brood, spreading the contents everywhere, then the rain comes and mixes with the honey and the natural yeasts in the air and ferments over a few weeks and wa la! Mead. Alcoholic fermentation is a biochemical process where yeast consumes sugar and produces alcohol and carbon dioxide. The alcohol content varies and can range from very low at 7% (which are called hydromels), to very high at about 18%.