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  • Writer's pictureSaxnōt Meadery

Mead, Metheglin or Melomel?

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).


MEAD TYPES

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


MELOMEL TYPES

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!!


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