Once again I have an order for a bunch of honey from an aspiring mead-maker. The thought of mead always brings with it the image of medieval England, knights in shining armor, and large joints of meat. I'm not sure why! Mead is kind of a honey wine, although if you include hops in the recipe it will taste more like beer.
I've only had it once, and it left something to be desired....but I continue ever hopeful. Whenever I sell honey to someone for mead making, I do request a sample, but this seldom comes to pass...
The earliest records of mead production date back to about 7000 BC. Pottery vessels containing the beverage were found in Northern China.
The Hindus make mention of it in their hymns in about 1700 BC.
Both Aristotle and Pliny the Elder mention it as being the preferred drink of ancient Greece.
And for a "don't try this at home" recipe, consider the following from Spanish-Roman naturalist Columella, AD 60:
"Take rainwater kept for several years and mix a sextarius of this water with a pound of honey. For a weaker mead, mix a sextarius of water in nine ounces of honey. The whole is exposed to the sun for 40 days, and then left on a shelf near the fire."
Sounds simply yummy, doesn't it? Bottoms up!