Mead Names

Terminology used to refer to mead and other honey-based fermented beverages is widely varied by language and time. We list below many of the terms we have encountered, sorted by type of beverage.

Plain mead is honey and water, historically a source of yeast may or may not be specified. Modern mead makers typically specify both the type of yeast used and the honey variety/source. Some terms used for plain mead include:

  • apomel (honeycombs)
  • aquamiel (Spanish)
  • aqua mulsa (Latin: sweet water)
  • bochet (French, historically a general term for mead, in modern use a mead made with carmelized honey)
  • chionomel (snow water and honey)
  • czworniak (Poland)
  • dwojniak (Poland)
  • hidromiel (Spanish)
  • honig wasser (German)
  • hydromel (Greek, Latin, French, Spanish, Portugese, in modern use a mead with a low starting gravity)
  • idromel (Italian)
  • mead
  • mede
  • meissaude (French)
  • melicraton (Latin)
  • met (Dutch)
  • meth (German)
  • miod (Russia)
  • mjod (Sweden)
  • mulsa
  • show mead
  • plain mead
  • poltorak/pultorak (Poland)
  • traditional mead
  • trojnak (Poland)
  • uki (Kamba, Kenya)
  • vin mielle (French)
  • ydromel

Metheglin (honey, water, and spices and/or herbs added). Specific additions are noted where relevant.

  • baalche/balche/pitarrilla (Mexico: Lenchocarpus bark)
  • dandaghare (Nepal: fruit, saffron, juniper)
  • medon
  • medovukha (eastern europe: cloves & raisins)
  • metheglin¬†(in modern use a mead made with herbs and spices, historically the term has been used much more loosely and with many spelling variants)
  • midus (Lithuania: carnation blossoms, acorns, poplar buds, juniper barriers, herbs)
  • rhodomel (roses, water, and honey)
  • sima (Finland: lemon & raisins)
  • tej/mes/berz (Ethiopia: gesho added
  • tella/suwa (Ethiopia, Eritrea: gesho, teff, ogol added)
  • xtabentun (Mexico: anise, rum)

Melomel (honey, water, and fruit). Melomel covers the universe of meads made with fruit, many fruit-containing meads have more specific names.

  • conditum (honey, wine, pepper)
  • cydonites (quince, honey): vino cydonite, cydonomel, hydromelon
  • cyser (modern term for a mead made with apple juice and honey)
  • diamoron (mulberries, doamoron was also used as a term for a mulberry syrup which appears to have been to sugary to ferment)
  • hydromelon (Greek, mead with quince)
  • hydromalum (apples, honey)
  • melitites (wine,¬† honey, salt): melitide, vinum melitides,
  • mesphiles (medlars)
  • myrtites (myrtle)
  • sorbis (Service)
  • morat (honey, mulberries)
  • oenomel (Greek, wine must and honey): mulsum, mustum, heunichwijn, wijnmeede, melizoton
  • omphacomel (Greek, honey and unripe grape juice)
  • oinis Apites (honey, with pear (piris, pyris) or other fruits including siliquis (carob)
  • omphacomelitis (unripe grapes and honey): omphacomel
  • piment, pyment (in modern use a mead made from grape must and honey, historically a pyment was a drink made by sweetening wine (usually with honey), and adding spices)

Braggot (ale, honey): brakot, braket, braunbeerenzen,

Thalassiomel (seawater and honey, some recipes also use fresh water)

  • Adymon, Adynamon (wine, water, seawater, honey)
  • melitites (Greek, mead with added salt)

Oximel (vinegar, water, honey): oxymel, aceto mulsa, oxymel simplex, Azijn ende honich. Experiments suggest that this will not ferment under normal conditions due to high acidity.

  • Oxymel compositum: oxymel diureticum, oxymel de radicibus, syrope van azijn en honich (oximel with herbs or spices added)

Last updated March 21, 2019