Nectar of the Gods: A Mead Profile

What is the "Nectar of the Gods"?

Mead—a fermented combination of honey and water—remains one of the world’s oldest alcoholic beverages. Dubbed by ancient Greeks as the “nectar of the Gods,” this tasty beverage continues to be a name heard round the world, despite many knowing little about it. So, in the spirit of sharing, let’s open up the knowledge vault.

Here are 10 interesting facts about mead!

1. A delicate flavor from simple ingredients

There’s a good chance that the ingredients needed to make mead are sitting in your kitchen cabinet right now! Honey and water – could things get any simpler? Of course, other things can be added (more on this below), but the basis for any mead’s creation comes from the bare necessities. 

2. There are many different varieties

Some like it sweet, some like it dry. Some like it still, some like it sparkling. Mead has the ability to be all four (separately, of course). With such a simple base, it’s easy to consider mead one-dimensional. Quite the opposite - in addition to honey and water, a mean mead brewing machine (our nickname for “someone who creates mead,” sorry) can add fruits, spices, grains, or hops pending what they’re hoping to create. Check out our post about different types of meads.  

3. It’s ABV is…diverse

A mead’s alcohol content can range from 3.5% to over 20%! Looks like mead has made itself acceptable to drink at any time of the day (hello pancakes…).

4. It redefines “old” alcohol

There’s ancient alcohol, and then there’s mead. Widely considered top dog in the echelon of oldest alcohol, mead’s humble roots trace back to ancient Chinese civilization circa 7000 B.C.

5. Sick? Try Mead!

Mead is considered to hold medicinal value, in large part because of its honey content. Given honey’s smorgasbord of nutrients and antioxidants, it’s no wonder that mead has been linked to boosting one’s immune system and digestive health. So, the next time you have a stomachache? Forget the Tums – pour yourself a hearty goblet full of mead!

6. Move over oysters, you’re not the only aphrodisiac in town

This one’s a doozy – did you know that the word “honeymoon” actually comes from a medieval tradition of drinking mead (also coined “honey wine”) for a full moon cycle—or, one month—after marriage? What’s more, the luscious beverage was thought to be an aphrodisiac, hence the marital connection.

Look out, oysters.  

7. It’s on the upswing

That’s right – mead is on the rise! After all, aren’t we proof? Local mead festivals are multiplying across the country (and mead is making an appearance at an influx of medieval fests), and there’s even a National Mead Day. Established by the American Homebrewer’s Association in 2002, August 3rd has lived ever since as a day meant to celebrate the wonders of mead. 

8. “Magical” mead

Speaking of wonders – the ancient Greeks referred to mead as the “nectar of the Gods.” It was thought to be consumed atop Mt. Olympus, and therefore developed a link to immortality, magical powers, and sheer godliness.

9. It’s well-read

Mead has a long tract record of appearing in well-known literature. Beowulf, The Canterbury Tales, Lord of the Rings…it’s the choice drink of many literary characters. Channel your inner Middle-earth hero and drink up!

10. Mead. Is. Awesome.

Okay, so this one’s subjective. But come on – have you not read enough to arrive at this conclusion? With an illustrious history, a stable modern-day presence and, perhaps most importantly, a refined (and often delightfully varied) taste, what’s left to say but that mead is awesome? Grab yourself a fancy mug and join the ranks of mead enthusiasts today!

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