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article imageA bottle of Mead this holiday season?

By W. Mark Dendy     Nov 22, 2013 in Food
Unless you are into the history of foods and beverages or steeped in European ancestry, chances are, you have probably never heard of Mead.
According to the BBC, Mead, the oldest alcoholic beverage once enjoyed by kings and Vikings, is finding its way into the intoxicating beverage market.
The 17th century book, The Closet of the Eminently Learned Sir Kenelm Digby, Kt., Opened, described Mead as “singularly good for a consumption, stone, gravel, weak-sight, and many many more things. A chief burgomaster of Antwerp used for many years to drink no other drink than this and though he were an old man, he was of extraordinary vigour, had always a great appetite, good digestion and had every year a child."
Meads can be simple or complex, dry or sweet There are contemporary Meads and traditional ones; more than 40 varieties of Meads are made.
So what is Mead? In its simplest form, Mead is honey, yeast, and water left to ferment.
According to legend, Mead was discovered when someone stumbled upon a beehive that had been left out in the rain; the honey inside had fermented.
Mead can be found at some wineries and there a number of recipes on-line for making your own special blend.
The term used for one that makes Mead is Mazer.
There are few Mead competitions; the best known, the Mazer Cup Competition takes place in Boulder, CO in the Spring.
And U.C. Davis plans to offer a short course in Mead Making at the Honey and Pollination Center at the Robert Mondavi Institute, The course that runs for three days beginning Feb. 6, 2014 is billed as “the first of its kind in this country.”
But you don't have to make your own or wait for Mead to pour into your area. On-line retailers provide a wide assortment of the beverage of kings and Vikings.
Grab some for the holidays and enjoy. Remember though, to drink responsibly.
More about Mead, Alcoholic Beverages, Honey, Fermented fruit, honey wine
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