Mead, a fermented beverage made from honey, is a drink of myth and mystery. Indian, Celtic, Greek, Roman, and Nordic texts mention mead as a drink of great religious and cultural significance. My focus is on the history of mead including finding and redacting recipes, and making historical meads (dating up to about 1750).
My interests range much more broadly however, and central to them is the desire to find and spread accurate and documented information about mead and other drinks including but not necessarily limited to: mead, wine, ale/beer, cider, perry, distilled drinks, and concocted drinks (hippocras, cordials, medicinals).
I have published a book containing over 100 mead recipes extracted from 17th and early 18th century manuscripts in the Wellcome Library Collection, a book containing extracts from historical documents concerning the making and use of Cider and Perry in Britain up to 1700, and am working on a book discussing the early history of mead in Britain and presenting recipes dating up to the second half of the 16th century. My books are available from Amazon.
There are many ways to approaching using historical recipes. The brewer using modern scientific methods can still use all of them while making a mead using an old recipe. Those focusing on a more rigorously historical approach may choose to avoid some or all modern materials and methods.
The work is ongoing. I’ve finished over 100 tests, ranging in date from 100 AD to 1660, and have more in progress.
These pages chronicle my methods, results, thoughts, triumphs, and a few oopses.
Welcome to the Mystery of Mead.
The main pages on this site are as follows:
- Blog: News and musings. The current focus is a recipes of the week series, presenting mead recipes.
- Recipes: Case studies of specific recipes with source and modern versions and usually discussing the historical context for the original recipe and the path to the modern version.
- Articles: Non-recipe focused articles on more general aspects of brewing and brewing history.
- Papers: Formal write-ups.
- Resources: Guideposts and links to resources of use to the researcher and maker of historical meads and other drinks.
- Other Fermented Drinks: Wine, Ale/Beer, Cider/Perry, Fruit wines and any other fermented drinks.
- Concocted Drinks: The world of drinks made by adding flavors to alcoholic drinks before consumption. This broad category includes hippocras, cordials, and medicinal drinks.
Last Updated March 25, 2021