What is MEAD?
The basic recipe for all alcohol requires 3 basic ingredients: water, yeast, and a fermentable sugar that yeast will consume. The byproduct of yeast consuming sugar is carbon dioxide and the alcohol we love so much. The biggest difference between alcohols is the primary fermentable sugar. With beer, it's grain. With cider, it's apples. With wine, it's grapes or other fruit. Mead is an alcoholic beverage made with HONEY, WATER, YEAST. Basic meads with these three ingredients are known as 'traditional' (see: KVLT 'Of Oak and Soil' and 'Kiss the Demon')
HONEY. This ingredient alone is complex; it's a nectar of a blossom carried in the stomach of bees and chemically transformed into a nutritional product for a hive, a process that cannot yet be replicated by man. We lovingly call honey "BEE VOMIT". Honey, like any other argicultural product has a TERRIOR, that is a flavor developed by the area in which it is grown and gathered. The terrior of honey is mostly influenced by the location of the beehive to the available food sources. When a honey is made from the nectar of mostly one type of flower, it is called a varietal. We love our Washington state varietals, especially the clean and sweet Clover honeys that come from cover crops in the eastern part of our state. Some other washington honey worth noting: blackberry honey, fireweed honey, buckwheat honey. Here, the spring honeys are always higher in water content, lighter in color with notes of jasmine from other spring flowers around; the summer honeys are darker with less water content and stronger floral notes.