So we thought we would try this blogging thing… and where better to start than with a bit of info about the different types of Mead. Having had a quick trawl of that there interweb and consulting a couple of our go-to books, we have compiled the following list… it’s not exhaustive and it may be wrong… but we are mead makers, not master historians!
Mead is essentially fermented honey and water. If you add stuff to it, it gets a different name and it can start to get a bit complicated! To try and simplify it, a Mead becomes a Metheglin if you add herbs and or spices and a Melomel if you add fruit… then there are sub-types depending on the fruit. At this point, you may want to pour yourself a glass just to get through this blog (we had several whilst putting it together).
BOCHET – where the honey is caramelised prior to fermentation
GREAT MEAD – a mead that has been aged
HYDROMEL – sometimes used to describe a low alcohol or light mead (also the French name for mead).
SACK MEAD – with extra honey (typically 14% ABV or higher)
SHOW/TRADITIONAL MEAD – the original mead, just honey and water
BLACK MEAD – with blackcurrants
CYSER – with apples or apple juice
MORAT – with mulberries
OMPHACOMEL – with verjuice (an acidic juice made from unripe/immature grapes or crab-apples or any sour fruit).
PYMENT – with grapes (or grape juice)
HIPPOCRAS – with grapes and spices
RHODOMEL – with rose hips or rose petals
RUDAMEL – with raspberries
And finally, the ones that don’t quite fit into the previous categories:
ACERGLYN – with Maple Syrup
BRAGGOT – with hops (in these modern times, some use malted grain)
CAPSICUMEL – with chilli
OXYMEL – with wine vinegar
So, translating this to what we make… Our Traditional Mead is a mead. Our Summer Fruit Cyser is a modern take on a traditional cyser recipe, using summer fruit juice instead of apple juice.
Our Fægerdrōm, the Ebblight and the Géola all have added spices which makes them Metheglin – but the added sultanas makes them a Melomel… The alcohol content of the Fægerdrōm and the Gèola means they can be considered Sack Meads… and the lower alcohol content of the Ebblight means we can call it a Hydromel.
You can probably see now why we simply call these Mead!!