Thursday, 25 August 2016

Otherworldly Mead...

Mead (/ˈmiːd/; archaic and dialectal "medd"; from Old English "medu") is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops.
The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling; dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
Mead was produced in ancient history throughout Europe, Africa and Asia.
The terms "mead" and "honey-wine" often are used synonymously. Some cultures, though, differentiate honey-wine from mead. For example, Hungarians hold that while mead is made of honey, water and beer-yeast (barm), honey-wine is watered honey fermented by recrement of grapes or other fruits.
In Asia, pottery vessels containing chemical signatures of a mixture of honey, rice and other fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation dating from 6500-7000 BC were found in Northern China. In Europe, it is first attested in residual samples found in the characteristic ceramics of the Bell Beaker Culture (c. 2800 – 1800 BC).
The earliest surviving description of mead is in the hymns of the Rigveda, one of the sacred books of the historical Vedic religion and (later) Hinduism dated around 1700–1100 BC. During the Golden Age of Ancient Greece, mead was said to be the preferred drink. Aristotle (384–322 BC) discussed mead in his Meteorologica and elsewhere, while Pliny the Elder (AD 23–79) called mead militites in his Naturalis Historia and differentiated wine sweetened with honey or "honey-wine" from mead. The Hispanic-Roman naturalist Columella gave a recipe for mead in De re rustica, about AD 60.
Take rainwater kept for several years and mix a sextarius of this water with a [Roman] pound of honey. For a weaker mead, mix a sextarius of water with nine ounces of honey. The whole is exposed to the sun for 40 days and then left on a shelf near the fire. If you have no rain water, then boil spring water.
There is a poem attributed to the Brythonic-speaking bard Taliesin, who lived around AD 550, called the Kanu y med or "Song of Mead." The legendary drinking, feasting and boasting of warriors in the mead hall is echoed in the mead hall Din Eidyn (modern day Edinburgh) as depicted in the poem Y Gododdin, attributed to the poet Aneirin who would have been a contemporary of Taliesin. In the Old English epic poem Beowulf, the Danish warriors drank mead. In both Insular Celtic and Germanic cultures, mead was the primary heroic drink in poetry.
Later, taxation and regulations governing the ingredients of alcoholic beverages led to commercial mead becoming a more obscure beverage until recently. Some monasteries kept up the old traditions of mead-making as a by-product of beekeeping, especially in areas where grapes could not be grown, a well-known example being at Lindisfarne, where mead continues to be made to this day, albeit not in the monastery itself.
A mead that also contains spices (such as cloves, cinnamon or nutmeg), or herbs (such as meadowsweet, hops, or even lavender or chamomile), is called a metheglin.

Source HERE

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Drink of the Gods
In the ancient Greek myths, ambrosia (Greek: "immortality") is sometimes the food or drink of the Greek gods, often depicted as conferring longevity or immortality upon whoever consumed it. It was brought to the gods in Olympus by doves, so it may have been thought of in the Homeric tradition as a kind of divine exhalation of the Earth.

Ambrosia is sometimes depicted in ancient art as distributed by a nymph labelled with that name. In the myth of Lycurgus, an opponent to the wine god Dionysus, violence committed against Ambrosia turns her into a grapevine.

The consumption of ambrosia was typically reserved for divine beings. Upon his assumption into immortality on Olympus, Heracles is given ambrosia by Athena. Those who consume ambrosia typically had not blood in their veins, but ichor. In Greek mythology, Ichor is the ethereal golden fluid that is the blood of the gods and/or immortals.It was considered to be golden in colour, as well as lethally toxic to mortals. Great demigods and heroes occasionally attacked gods and released ichor, but gods rarely did so to each other in Homeric myth.

Both nectar and ambrosia are fragrant, and may be used as perfume.

W. H. Roscher thinks that both nectar and ambrosia were kinds of honey, in which case their power of conferring immortality would be due to the supposed healing and cleansing powers of honey, which is in fact anti-septic, and because fermented honey (mead) preceded wine as an entheogen in the Aegean world; on some Minoan seals, goddesses were represented with bee faces (compare Merope and Melissa).

Love and light,

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