Mead was more than simply a drink, like wine. People believed in its magical powers of revitalization and healing, it was considered an elixir of a long life. People believed that drinking mead would make them immortal. It was believed that mead improves masculinity and virility. This, like any myth contains truth, because mead is rich with vitamin B and amino-acids which stimulate the build-up of proteins, which affect stamina. Mead is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages ever discovered by man. Honey, as the basic raw material was easily obtainable from nature, it was used in nutrition, and later it was added to varied beverages, and so mead was created. Mead is produced by alcoholic fermentation of natural honey solution, and the procedure is the same as in the production of wine.
According to some research, mead contains about:
- 13% alcohol;
- 5% extract;
- 0.17% mineral salts.
Mead can be produced as both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverage. It has a pleasant aroma and taste. Mead is not an artificial beverage, but rather a natural product similar to wine, since their basic ingredients honey and grapes through alcoholic fermentation turn into alcohol and carbon dioxide. In wine, its taste and quality depend on the grape variety. Similarly, the quality of mead depends on the kind of honey, the way it was produced and its age.
Mead is a beverage claimed to improve blood count, invigorate the organism, improve appetite and impede ageing! In good old times, the secret of a happy marriage was in an alcoholic drink. Life was much simpler, and the secret of a happy marriage was in a plain alcoholic beverage based on honey. Just married couples were made to drink mead every night for a whole month after the wedding. The fruits produced by this recipe in a period of married life still called the honey moon, would appear after nine months.
Preparing mead: pour 4l of previously boiled and cooled water into a big pot; add 2kg of honey, mix and heat; during cooking foam should be removed, and in the case of boiling add some cold water; pour the cooled mixture into a 10l glass container, add previously prepared mixture, shake and cover with a gauze or filter. Keep the container in a warm place and shake it every day. Fermentation takes place after 6-7 days. Once the fermentation in the glass container has started (the whirring sound), add boiled than cooled water. Seal the container with a cork which contains a plastic fermentation tube. Fermentation and ageing last for approximately 3 months. During this period the residue is removed. The mixture is carefully poured into a different container. The glass container is washed and the mead poured back into it. Mead is kept like this until spring at room temperature. Residue is removed and mead should age like wine until summer. Mead prepared in this fashion contains approximately 14% alcohol, and the quantity of alcohol depends on the length and manner of fermentation.