Wednesday, November 21, 2007

 

Save the Honeybee -- Needed to Make the Nectar of the Gods!

In an article in the WSJ entitled "A Taste of Holiday Honey", author ERIC FELTEN writes about Metheglin:
At the first Thanksgiving chances are some more of those strong waters were poured around, and perhaps also some Metheglin, a spiced drink of fermented honey.

What is curious (and disappointing) is that, while he adds plenty of historical anecdotes about alcoholic beverages in the early colonial period and then explores some attempts to concoct a Thanksgiving Day drink inspired by that empty cask of Metheglin, he at no point mentions "mead", of which Metheglin is but one variety.

Mead is believed to be the first alcoholic beverage consumed by humans, before beer and long before wine. It was popular with Vikings and Celts. The term "honeymoon" is even derived from it: during the first month of marriage, newlyweds were expected to consume mead daily. It is still commercially available, and there are "how to" home brew mead videos on YouTube (not always with exemplary hygiene!)--which I found thanks to a French hydromel forum. In Brittany, where the Celtic influence as strong in local tradition, the traditional drink known as "chouchenn" is mead. Four other mead compositions are shown here:



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