Historical mead recipes exist in a wider world, and recreating and preparing individual recipes tells only a part of the story of historical meads. The papers and articles here focus on topics that are more general than a single recipe and range from informal to formal in presentation:
15th-Century English Mead: Initial review of Hydromel, Metheglin, and Melomel Recipes in Wellcome MS.MSL.136 is a formal paper on the three mead recipes contained in a mid-15th century English collection of medical recipes. It explores the details of the recipes and their place in the larger world of mead establishing connections to Wales, Arabic medical manuscripts, and highlighting the dual nature of Medieval mead as medicinal and recreational. Click here for the PDF.
Bearing an Egg discusses the measuring of mead density (sugar content) using a hen’s egg, documented by the mid-15th century. The measure turns out to be quite uncertain, but curiously, will generally produce drinkable mead despite the inaccuracy.Bochet is a brief look at the unique historical mead recipe that has launched thousands of modern interpetations for mead made from caramelized honey. The twists and turns of its history and context may be surprising. Here I present a brief overview of bochet and this particular manifestation.Herb and Spice Use is a summary of how these ingredients are used in historical mead recipes.
Mead and Health outlines the critical importance of the four humors in thousands of years of medicine, and why historical mead must be viewed in context of its dual nature as medicine and recreational drink.Vikings and Mead presents my thoughts on the currently proveable historical foundations for our understanding of what the Vikings drank.
Updated August 11, 2023
Picture credit: Laura Angotti.