I thought I will dedicate this post to make you, the prospective mead lovers, acquainted with mead and it’s types so that you have an easier time deciding which mead is right for you.
Mead is a very versatile beverage and as many great mead makers of our time say, “There’s a mead for everyone”. Meads can range from bone dry to deliciously sweet. Meads can be sessionably low on alcohol, which you can gulp down glass after glass or really high, about 18-20% percent, that you will start feeling in just half a glass! Meads can, along with honey, have a range of other interesting ingredients; a variety of spices or fruits or flowers or a combination thereof. Meads can be still or sparkling, can be with or without oak ageing.
Now don’t go on and get confused with all this variety! We can categorise meads based on two parameters to make matters simple for us. One is the alcohol content, the other is the ingredients.
A low alcohol mead is called a hydromel. Medium alcohol mead is a standard mead and a very high alcohol mead with more than 18% alcohol is called sack mead.
If your mead has only honey in it, it’s a traditional mead since that’s how it was made traditionally.
If it has spices and herbs for flavouring, it’s a metheglin. Interestingly, metheglins were also called medeglins in ancient Wales and that is where the word medicine is supposed to have come from! Even in India, Ayurveda describes certain Asavas made with honey (Madhuasava) as remedies to certain illnesses based on the spice/ herb combination used.
The third and most popular category is mead with fruits in it. It’s called a melomel. Different melomels have different names based on the fruits they have. You have pyments that have grapes in them, cysersthat have apples, rubamel with raspberries, bilbemel with blueberries to name a few. When we launch, look out for Ashwini’s Jamboree which is a melomel recipe by, you guessed it, Ashwini! It has one of our favourite fruits in it. Does the name ring any bells? Yep! It’s Jamuns (also known as Indian blueberry).
The fourth category based on ingredients which beer lovers would queue behind is a braggot. It’s a mead made with honey and malts. This style is usually close to beer; is low on alcohol and carbonated just like the beers, but even high alcohol, still braggots can be made based on recipes. We at Mahuwines are recreating sura or ancient Indian version of a beer!
All this mead talk has gotten me really craving for a glass! Now enough lessons for today.
Here I go to open one of my favourite meads!
Cheers folks! Or as they said it in medieval England, Wassail!!