After almost 4 years in the making, our sparkling mead 2018 is finally ready. We are thrilled with its honeyed, sweet flavour and complex floral aroma.
As you may or may not know, mead is simply fermented honey. I’ve been a beekeeper for over 15 years, and have enjoyed keeping honey bees in my own garden and public gardens such as RHS Wisley and Polesden Lacey in Surrey. Although I’ve always made a demijohn or two of mead from the honey, 2018 was such a good year for my bees, with lots of warmth and sunshine, it meant I had enough honey to make my first large batch (250 champagne bottles) to share with my customers.
Due to the portrayal of mead in medieval and fantasy movies in the last few years such as Lord or the Rings, Last Kingdom, The Vikings etc it has become the most fashionable drink in town (or the countryside in our case) . The sort of tipple that any self-respecting hipster should be seen sipping whilst stroking their finely trimmed beards and discussing existential philosophy.
The first time I drank mead was in a village in northern Brittany, France about 25 years ago. I was expecting a weak, sweet liquid, the sort of thing that you swig from a large tankard, flagon or even from a large horn like a Viking. So, I was amazed when it was served to me in a champagne flute. The mead was far more like a delicate fine wine, than a beer or cider. It had a complex and intriguingly nuanced flavour, and had an alcohol strength more akin to wine. Far from being sweet, it was drier than an A-level physics lesson.
Mead is considered to the oldest of all alcoholic beverages, with archaeological evidence being found in the remnants 9000 year old pottery jars (7000BC) in Ancient North China (Neolithic village of jiahu, in the Henan proviance). Afterwards, the drinking of mead spread to other ancient civilizations such as Greece, Rome and Egypt.
It is a drink shrouded in mystery and magic. So whether you associate with Celts, Pagans, Druids, Saxons, Normandy, Vikings or even a bit of Norse or Egyptian mythology there is always some symbolism or affinity for you to relate to, when imbuing this magical potion.
Did you Know?
Feeling guilty about having a glass of wine or mead in the evening? Well, it all seemed to be very acceptable a few centuries ago in Anglo Saxon England. Indeed, the name supper actually comes from the Anglo Saxon word ‘Supan’ meaning 'To drink'. And if you needed anymore evidence, our word 'Evening' is derived from ‘Aefen’, meaning ‘drinking time’. Cheers.