All alcohol is made by fermenting sugar with yeast, turning it into alcohol. The main difference in making different types of alcohols stems from the sugar used to ferment with:
- Wine is made from fermenting grapes
- Beer is made by boiling grains to extract the sugars, then fermenting those sugars
- Cider is made from fermenting apple juice (pressed apples)
- Mead is made from fermenting honey
- Spirits are made by taking any of the above and distilling to remove water and increase the alcohol content
It’s as simple as that. Mead, also known as “honey wine” is simply alcohol made from fermenting honey. It’s most commonly seen served as a “wine,” still (cool, or warm in some cases), about 12 – 14% ABV, and often back-sweetened with some honey. This sweet wine may appeal to some palates, but alas I am not one of them.
Variability and Versatility of Mead
Thankfully, mead actually comes in a broad array of different styles and flavors:
- Sweet vs. Dry
- Higher ABV like wine (10 – 14%) vs lower ABV like beer (6 – 10%)
- Still vs. Sparkling
- Different flavors of honey (orange blossom vs wildflower vs fennel)
- Fruit meads – also called melomels (ex: cherry, peach)
- Hopped meads
It’s important to note that when adding different types of sugars in with the honey during fermentation, these alcoholic beverages have very specific names amongst the alcohol beverage community:
- Only Honey, or Honey + Hops = “mead”
- Honey + Fruit = “melomel”
- Honey + Wine Grapes = “pyment”
- Honey + Apples = “cyser”
- Hone + Beer = “braggot”
These names can be confusing, so we like to stick with “sparkling mead” when referring to what we make, though technically most of what we make are melomels.
Here at Modern Day, we love playing with different flavors. We’ve started out focusing pretty solely on perfecting dry, sparkling meads, but we’re not going to stop there. We are itching to start exploring some semi-sweet sparkling meads, and can’t wait for you to try them when they’re available. For now, visit our products pages to order mead shipped directly to you, or if you’re in the Bay Area, visit one of the local watering holes that has Modern Day Mead on tap!