The word "mead" is familiar to everyone. However, not everyone knows what it is. Today it is often called vodka with the addition of honey. Such a mixture is far from everyone will have to taste, and a large amount of alcohol can harm the body. And once in Russia was highly valued mead. The harm and benefit of the drink for this reason excites many people. But first you need to figure out what it really is.
What is a mead
This is an alcoholic drink with a strength of 5-16 degrees. It is prepared on the basis of honey. The amount of alcohol is influenced by the way of preparation. Even in times of existence of Kievan Rus, the mead was a traditional Slavic drink. It remained so until Tsar Peter I brought wine and vodka to the country. Mead was drunk during the holidays, at weddings, served on the table by princes and kings. Prepared it mainly in monasteries. The mead boiled there was famous throughout the country. And until now, monks make it according to ancient recipes.
Honey and mead. Is there a difference?
There are differences, and significant. Honey appeared much earlier and was a non-alcoholic drink. The way of preparation was simple. People took honey and planted it with water. Alcoholic beverage appeared later, after it was found that the contents in one barrel fermented. The first mention of honey dates back to the 6th-7th centuries BC. E. It was used in ritual ministries. This is evidenced by the dishes found in ancient temples with remnants of honey and wall drawings telling how to prepare it.
In Russia, a drink was prepared from berries, water, herbs. The main ingredient was, of course, honey. The drink was stored in oak barrels. So that he wandered, you had to wait 20-40 years. The resulting drink was affectionately called honey, honey, honey drunk. They drank it from small cups on special holidays: the birth of a child, a wedding, a funeral. Under Nicholas II, the honey recipe underwent a change. It began to boil, add yeast, hops. Such a drink was called mead. It is noteworthy that the cooking time was reduced to 1 week.
The mead. Harm and benefit
The main ingredient in the drink is honey. Therefore, its useful qualities should be considered. It contains a large number of important trace elements and there are fewer calories than sugar. Mead helps fight colds, strengthens immunity, replenishes energy and vitality, prevents the development of atherosclerosis and heart disease. In addition to this, the more useful the mead is yet, so this is what helps to increase the potency. Not for nothing in Russia newlyweds in the first month after the wedding were allowed to drink only mead. It was done to ensure that the family as soon as possible appeared strong and healthy offspring. Hence the expression "honeymoon".
But such properties have only such a drink, which is prepared without boiling. The fact is that all the useful substances in honey are lost under the influence of high temperatures. Find a today's free sale of a drink that has stood for several decades is impossible.
Harm from mead can be the same as from any alcoholic beverage. When using it is important to observe the measure. Also with a drink you need to be careful to people who have an allergy to the main ingredient. There is an opinion that in the menu of pregnant women there may be a non-alcoholic mead. The use of this advice is questionable, because boiled honey loses its medicinal properties, and the opportunity to get an allergic reaction and harm the future baby is preserved.
How to drink mead
Previously, the process of drinking was subject to certain traditions. Of great importance was the purpose for which the drink was used, at what time and with what snacks. Today these traditions are lost. And still you can drink so that does not inflict damage to the mead, and the benefit to the body at the same time was significant. It should be taken on an empty stomach. To stimulate the work of the intestines, improve digestion and metabolism, it is enough to drink a glass of drink on an empty stomach 30 minutes before eating. In addition, the properties of mead contribute to the acquisition of healthy sound sleep. To do this, you need to use it for half an hour or an hour before you go to bed.
How to cook mead at home
For preparation, you can take raw materials of any quality. Suitable fresh honey, old, sterilized. It should be taken into account that the flavor of the ready-made drink depends on how honey is fragrant. If there is no expressive smell, then it is better to add spices to the recipe.
To weld a drink is not difficult. For the recipe you need honey, water and yeast. In the pan you need to pour cold water. Then it should be stirred honey. The water should be 7-10 times the main ingredient. Next, the pan with the mixture should be placed on a small fire and bring to a boil. During the cooking, foam should be removed. As soon as it ceases to stand out (usually the process lasts no more than two minutes), the pan should be removed from the fire, cooled to a warm state and added to the yeast. The resulting mixture should be insulated in a warm month. Then it is necessary to put another portion of yeast (the amount in both cases is placed by eye) and again leave for the same period for fermentation. Ready mead is filtered, bottled and put in a cold place. The drink is stored for six months.
Variety of species
Today you can meet not only the usual mead. There are several types of this drink. They differ not only in the way they are cooked, but also in a set of ingredients.
- Stuck. When it is cooked, honey does not boil.
- Sturdy or boiled. The drink is subjected to boiling.
- Fortified. The composition of the mead is ethyl alcohol.
- Inebriating. It adds hops, as a result of which the process of fermentation is reduced, and the drink acquires a bitter taste.
- Fake. Contains spices and spices.
Connoisseurs to the note
Arguing about what a drink is useful, you can not ignore the diversity of tastes. The thing is that the meds make changes to the basic recipe. Adding those or other spices, you can get a new taste. Ingredients, of course, are selected according to individual preferences.
The most successful combinations are obtained if you add crusts of citrus (lemon, orange) or juice of these fruits to honey. From spices, you can select cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper. Thyme and mint make the drink quite original and unusual. If you add fresh berries or dried fruits to mead, for example, dried apricots, raisins, figs, you will get a completely new taste.
Increase the strength of the drink is also not difficult. When the fermentation process comes to an end, it is necessary to add alcohol to the beverage. 1 liter of mead is enough for two tablespoons.
It is interesting
- During the reign of kings, a mead was considered a drink for the nobility. It took a lot of time and energy to make it, so it was expensive. Simple people used it only during big holidays or spent cheaper drinks.
- To get rid of a hangover, you need to drink a glass of heavily chilled fortified mead with lemon. However, the correctness of the method of treatment can be argued. The first thing that doctors in any case do not recommend doing is to get drunk with alcoholic beverages.
- From the dark raw material is obtained a very useful and most fragrant mead. The benefit is the presence of a large number of trace elements. But not everyone likes the harsh taste and smell of such honey, so most people prefer to use light varieties.
- The bear is the biggest honey lover among animals. For that, by the way, and got his name. It is not for nothing that they say that the bear "knows honey".
- It is believed that the principle of making a drink was later used in winemaking.
- The expression "honeymoon" is not only among Russians. It is noteworthy that the history of its appearance in different peoples coincide. This is due to the fact that people noticed the main thing, what is useful for mead in this period of time. It is believed that it increases the chances of conceiving a boy.
- Drinks based on honey did not only in Russia. In some countries traditions still exist to use them during the holidays.
Today, a lot of disputes are caused by the mead. Harm and benefit - the main issue related to the alcohol content in the drink. Here everything depends on the strength and the amount of mead. If you observe the measure, then from a real drink, prepared according to an ancient recipe, will only benefit.