Mead (also called honey wine) is an alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution of honey and water. It may also be produced by fermenting a solution of water and honey with grain mash; the mash is strained off immediately after fermentation.
Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be flavored with spices, fruit, or hops (which produce a bitter, beer-like flavor).
The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV to 18%. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
Mead can have a wide range of flavors, depending on the source of the honey, additives (also known as "adjuncts" or "gruit"), including fruit and spices, the yeast employed during fermentation, and aging procedure.
A mead that also contains spices (such as cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg), or herbs (such as oregano, hops, or even lavender or chamomile), is called a metheglin.
A mead that contains fruit (such as raspberry, blackberry or strawberry) is called a melomel, which was also used as a means of food preservation, keeping summer produce for the winter. A mead that is fermented with grape juice is called a pyment.
Mulled mead is a popular drink at Christmas time, where mead is flavored with spices (and sometimes various fruits) and warmed, traditionally by having a hot poker plunged into it.
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