Let’s Make Mead: The Ancient Berserker Crunk-Juice of KingsPosted: February 11, 2012
Let’s Make Mead: The Ancient Berserker Crunk-Juice of Kings
Mead is almost certainly the first beverage that got humans drunk (sorry, beer). It predates wine by ten to thirty thousand years. Hell, it predates the cultivation of soil. Best of all, you only need three common ingredients to whip up a batch. So let’s do that.
It’s Friday afternoon, you’ve made it through the long week, and it’s time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo’s weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Yar, let’s get ye olde drunke.
Mead is just three simple ingredients: honey, water, yeast. That’s it. The end. You can add fruit, spices, or hops to add flavors, but you don’t have to. I’m a purist, personally.
Before we get cooking, a little history. The reason mead likely predates other forms of booze is that man probably didn’t even make it. He found it. Somewhere around twenty to forty thousands of years ago, bees would make their nests in holes in trees, then the rainy season would come and flood the nest. Wild yeast would blow through the muck and get all mixed up, too. Then some early hunting-gathering humans ambled by and were like, "Oooh, honey! Eww, it’s wet. Ahh, screw it, I need the calories." Queue drunken orgy.
It was also a favorite drink of the Vikings before storming into battle. Not surprising; the alcohol gets you drunk and the sugar in the honey gets you amped. Think of it as an early Vodka-RedBull prototype. Oh, and yes, that high sugar content can give you a hangover, so be careful.