Sweet Like Honey
The etymology of the word Honeymoon is derived from the alcoholic beverage of mead. During the 16th century in many parts of Europe, it was tradition to supply a newly married couple with enough mead to ensure happiness and fertility. The sweet and sometimes dry drink is probably known as the oldest alcoholic refreshment. I’ve only had 3 different occasions where I’ve tasted mead. The first time was while living on St. Thomas, at the time the husband to my boss was a brewer and he had made a passion fruit mead that was wonderful. The second time, I just went to this huge wine store in DE called Total Wine. This place is mind boggling, they even do their own tasting. Needless to say, they have a lot, and in their entire store they only had one, a single bottle of mead, which I bought. This bottle was straight mead, no fruit or anything else added to it, and it was thick like syrup. Ok, I guess but not as refreshing as I had remembered. Granted, close to 8 years had gone by since I had last tasted mead, so I wasn’t sure. Then there was last night, I tasted close to 15 meads from: strawberry, blackberry, blueberry, vanilla, agave, apple, hops, spice, and other’s I’m sure.
Last night, I was at a beer geek meeting that I attend occasionally, and the focus of last night was…yep you got it … mead. There was a guest expert speaker and prior to this meeting I was under the impression that most meads take about 9 months to ferment and then typically you bottle them for a year +. So it’s a long process. Well to find out that are ways to make short meads, these are usually only one gallon and take about two weeks. Well sign me and my liver up. Let’s do it. The woman was selling these kits, that are just add water and 2 lbs of honey into the plastic one gallon jug and let it ferment. Sounds easy enough.
Now, if you are not to familiar with mead or the fermentation process, here it is in a nutshell. Yeast eat sugar, and the byproduct is CO2 and alcohol. So the more sugar the higher the ABV. Now honey is sweet, so most meads are usually at 14-15% ABV. Chardonnay for example are usually in the 13% ABV neighborhood. I ended up picking up a Peppermint Mead kit from the speaker last night. I also traded her a bottle of my Oatmeal Coffee Stout for her May Mead. This mead is “a light mead with the fresh flavor of sweet woodruff and floral notes…May Mead was created by combining elements of traditional herbal metheglins with the sweet woodruff traditional in May Wine.” The speaker, Sherry, had created this for May day and Beltaine. Her kits state, you don’t need to know how to make mead or to have any brewing knowledge. If you interested in one of their vast kits, email me and I’ll send along her contact info. The kits are only $7.50 + shipping. So basically for $20 you can have your own gallon of mead.
I’ll keep you all posted on how our Peppermint Mead turns out.
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