It is an alcoholic beverage made from honey that is additionally fermented. Typically lime honey is used to produce mead.
It should be also pointed out, that the national mead has been awarded with the Guaranteed Traditional Specialty sign by the European Union, which means that it is our local specialty.
History of mead production in Poland
Mead has been known and produced in Poland since the Middle Ages, even though beer and wine were the most popular beverages back then. When wine was lacking, people resorted to mead instead. However, it was relatively expensive, so it was drank during important festivities and weddings only.
In the 18th century, mead was replaced by gradually cheaper varieties of wine and was nearly forgotten. Nevertheless, nowadays experts have returned to the tradition of mead producing and the said beverage is slowly but surely becoming more and more popular once again.
In order to make the taste of mead more intriguing, it is enriched with various additives, such as natural juices, hops, vanilla, almonds, briar rose petals, pepper, ginger, mint, etc.
In Poland, meads can fall into one of the following categories: poltorak, dwojniak, trojniak, and czworniak. Depending on the number in the name, the amount of water added to mead varies. The higher the number, the lighter the alcohol.
Kinds of mead
However, even light beverages are exceptionally delicious. It has to be pointed out that półtorak and dwójniak type meads are really sweet and should be rather used as a basis for various drinks and cocktails (for example, after being combined with grapefruit juice).
Trojniak type mead can be drank alone. It is just perfect to be drank hot together with root-based spices and a slice of orange, especially on cold winter days.
The higher the alcohol content, the longer it has to be stored and therefore – the higher the price of the beverage is. Poltorak type meads, may be stored for even 10 years, whereas czworniak type meads are ready for consumption after 6 to 8 months. Due to the said fact, polotrak and dwojniak type meads are typically called royal ones.
Meads can be bought in traditional glass bottles, as well as in decorated, stone ones.
Similarly to typical honey, mead offers a number of advantages for our body. Depending on the producer and the utilized production method, meads may have from 9 to even 18 % of alcohol in their content. If you do not know whether you will enjoy mead or not, you may try a bit of it in a local restaurant or bar.
What is interesting, meads are considered to be fruit processing byproducts 😉