MEAD - A LEGENDARY WINE
Mead is believed to be the oldest alcoholic drink, records having been found in the tombs of the Pharoahs. Legend has it that it was consumed by the Gods on Mount Olympus, and in the Halls of Asgaard in Valhalla, the domain of Thor and Odin in Scandinavian mythology. It was also produced by the Mayans from the delighfully fragrant Hibiscus Honey.
According to legend, the drinking of Mead for a month after marriage was supposed to ensure male offspring. This is where the word "honeymoon" comes from. It's association with marriage and fertility is common to both Western and Eastern cultures.
Mead has also been used for medicinal purposes. Infused with healing herbs and spices it is known as "Metheglin" which is where our modern word "medicine" comes from. Recent research has shown that Manuka honey, one of the honeys we use, has particular anti-bacterial properties. It has also been used to treat stomach ulcers.
Mead does not contain the histamines and other compounds contained in grapes which cause allergic reactions in some people, or aggrevate conditions such as arthritis. We know of people who drink Mead specifically to avoid these problems.
Research has also shown that Mead retains enzymes from the honey which counteract the "morning after" effects often experienced with other wines.
LINKS:NZ Fruit Wine and Cidermakers' Association
Mead legends: Irish - The deeds of Odin