Mead, a beverage with a heritage spanning millennia, holds a captivating place in numerous cultures. Its production methods vary across the globe, where diverse societies employ carefully selected adjuncts during fermentation to evoke distinct textures and flavours.
The world of mead encompasses an array of varieties and styles, including traditional mead, which is crafted using only honey, water, and yeast. Melomel, another type of mead, is made from blending honey with various fruit, while Metheglin is infused with honey and an assortment of spices or herbs. Yet another mead variety, known as Pyment, is a skilful blend of honey and grapes, creating a delightful marriage of mead and wine.
Often mostly associated with the royal courts of medieval Europe, mead actually originated in the sub-Saharan landscapes of Africa around 20 000 years ago. In many parts of the continent, mead is traditionally considered a sacred drink, consumed during rituals, ceremonies and special occasions. The first to create and establish mead making techniques were the Khoi-San. Their recipes are still used today in southern Africa and include roots of Imoela/Karimoer (Trichodiadema plant), honey, brood and pollen extracts.
With its fascinating history and diverse range of types, mead is attracting growing numbers of enthusiasts around the world, offering a truly exceptional drinking experience.