Mead ( /ˈmd/; archaic and dialectal "medd"; from Old English "meodu"[1]), also called honey wine, is an
220px-Swedish Mead
alcoholic beverage that is produced by fermenting a solution of honey and water.[2] It may also be produced by fermenting a solution of water and honey with grain mash, which is strained immediately after fermentation.[3] Depending on local traditions and specific recipes, it may be flavored with spices, fruit, or hops[4] (which produce a bitter, beer-like flavor). The alcoholic content of mead may range from about 8% ABV[5] to 18%. It may be still, carbonated, or sparkling, and it may be dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.[6]

Mead is known from many sources of ancient history throughout Europe, Africa, and Asia, although archaeological evidence of it is ambiguous.[7] Its origins are lost in prehistory. "It can be regarded as the ancestor of all fermented drinks," Maguelonne Toussaint-Samat has observed, "antedating the cultivation of the soil."[8]

Claude Lévi-Strauss makes a case for the invention of mead as a marker of the passage "from nature to culture."[9] Mead has played an important role in the beliefs and mythology of some peoples. One such example the Mead of Poetry, is a mead of Norse mythology crafted from the blood of the wise being Kvasir which turns the drinker into a poet or scholar.

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