First: You don't have to be a Viking to drink mead. You also shouldn't be afraid of the fact that mead is made from honey, and you don't have to relegate the drink to the dessert hour.
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Mead is an ancient beverage made from just honey, water, and yeast. Modern versions can be sweet or dry, still or sparkling. It can be punched up with fruit or fruit juice (to make melomel), hops (to make miodomel), herbs (to make metheglin), or barley (to make braggot). Mead is very easy to brew—you simply mix the three ingredients and wait. But there are a few techniques and methods that can contribute to a superior mead.
Each element of this fall cocktail from Gramercy Tavern mingles with the others beautifully; be sure to use an earthier, dry style of mead.
It can be challenging for a beverage older than agriculture to maintain its relevance over the years. Indeed, you rarely see mead these days except at Renaissance Festivals or as a novelty at a theme party. Maine Mead Works is on a mission to change all that. Using cutting edge techniques—continuous fermentation, for one—and inventive flavorings, such as hops and lavender, they have crafted some dangerously drinkable booze.
Braggots are hybrid beers—part barley-based ale, part honey-based mead. In ye olde Viking times, they were made by mixing the two beverages together; presumably you stirred them into a plundered goblet or a spare Grendel skull you had lying around. However, modern brewers who produce the style tend to mix the honey and malts together before fermentation begins rather than blending two separate batches afterward.
Atlanta allows them. So does Denver. Chicago welcomes them to the roofs of City Hall and the Chicago Cultural Center. San Francisco included them as part of their Sustainability Plan. And Michelle Obama gives them a prime spot on...
"I would love it if Stephen Colbert actually faux-bashed our product. I would take it as a big compliment." I don't know about you, but when I think of mead, the only thing that comes to mind is Ye Olde...
Honor the ancient honey wine tomorrow with meadmakers across the country celebrating at registered sites. First described in the ancient Rigveda hymns, later in Beowulf, and beloved by ancient Celtic and Germanic tribes across centuries, mead has even inspired its own comprehensive book: The Compleat Meadmaker. Bees everywhere would want you to get your mead on....