What Is Mead, And How Is It Made?

Mead is an alcoholic drink, (yes, alcoholic! – ranging from 8% to 20% ANV – Alcohol By Volume).  Mead is made by fermenting honey with water.  It is sometimes called ‘honey-wine’.

Mead is the oldest alcoholic drink known.  The Old English word for mead is ‘meodu’. The words for honey and mead share a single root word 'medhu' across the range of Indo-European languages.

How To Make Mead

Before you make mead, I recommend you try it first, to ensure you like it!  Also, do take into account that the mead will need a year to mature, and you’ll need clean, sterilized bottles.



5 litres (1.1 gallons) of water

Juice of 1 lemon

2½ lbs of honey – the type of honey you select will subtly affect the taste of the mead

1 teaspoon wine yeast

1 vitamin C tablet


Spices can also be added – such as cloves or cinnamon.  Mead with added spices is called a 'methgelin'.



  • Boil the water, honey, lemon juice and vitamin C in a pan.
  • Leave the liquid to cool, then transfer to a sterilized demijohn.  Add the wine yeast and seal, using a sterilized airlock. 
  • After about 2 weeks, and after fermentation has taken place, siphon off the liquid into another sterilized demi-john, and store in a cool, dark, place.
  • When the liquid is clear, it can be poured into bottles.  Allow it to mature for a year before drinking.

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