5 fun facts about mead

At Marourde, we pride ourselves on ‘refreshing the world’s oldest drink’, and leading the charge in the recent revival of new, innovative craft meads. With our three key flavours, we’ve produced a unique and gently sparkling range, demonstrating just how far this wonderful liquid has come since its ancient origins.

But while we’re keen to rejuvenate the profile, we’re also immensely proud of its story, heritage and processes, enabling our customers to discover exactly what it is, where it comes from, and why it’s such an exciting product to make, enjoy and be a part of.

Read on to find out more about the marvellous world of mead…

It’s thought to be the world’s oldest alcoholic beverage

The first evidence of mead reportedly dates to 7,000 BC, when Chinese pottery vessels contained residues of honey, along with organic compounds of fermentation. Supposedly predating beer and wine, it’s been a go-to drink of choice for the Vikings, Mayans, Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, and referenced in Aristotle’s Meteorologica, Pliny the Elder’s Naturalis Historia, Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales, and the Old English epic poem Beowulf.

It has its own drinks category

Like beer, wine and cider, mead is categorised as a distinct type of alcohol. Within this category, a mead that contains spices or herbs is called ‘metheglin’, while one featuring fruit is known as ‘melomel’. Elsewhere, ‘cyser’ is an apple-based mead, plus there’s ‘acerglyn’ (made with maple syrup); ‘braggot’ (a mead/beer blend brewed with hops or barley); and rhodomel (an old style laced with roses), to name a few!

Its taste is defined by a bee’s diet

A single honeybee produces a meagre twelfth of a teaspoon of honey in its lifetime! Nonetheless, the honey used determines the overarching flavour of a mead, and can vary according to a bee’s specific diet of nectar and pollen. Traditional mead often uses a mild honey, such as orange blossom, clover or acacia, whereas wildflower, blackberry and buckwheat honeys can likewise be used for sturdier, spiced alternatives.

It’s celebrated all over the globe

In the US, National Mead Day falls on August 3. Now in its 17th year, the commemorative occasion was first organised by the American Homebrewers Association, to increase awareness of the drink, and foster camaraderie among mead-makers. Likewise, there are plenty of festivals worldwide that celebrate the tipple as well, including the Orcas Island Cider & Mead Festival in July, and the Oregon Honey & Mead Festival in May.

It’s the original aphrodisiac

Never mind oysters – mead is where the action is! In fact, the etymology of the word ‘honeymoon’ harks back to the medieval tradition of drinking honey wine for a full moon cycle after a new marriage. It’s claimed that the drink would ensure a fruitful union, bearing plenty of children; so much so that a bride’s father is said to have included a month’s worth of mead in his daughter’s dowry!
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