Drink Like a Viking: Mead Makes a Comeback

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Geo Beats
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Mead, the honey wine once enjoyed by everyone from Aristotle to throngs of Vikings, is making a comeback.

What's old is new again.

Mead, the honey wine once enjoyed by everyone from Aristotle to throngs of Vikings, is making a comeback.

After spending years hanging out in Renaissance Fairs masked as a sticky-sweet beverage, the world’s oldest alcoholic drink is getting rethought and revamped.

Mead producers across the US are cultivating and fermenting beverages that range from spicy drinks to those that have the rocky austerity of a fine French chardonnay.

It all starts with the honey, which serves as the base of mead in the same way grapes are the backbone of wine.

Unlike grapes, honey has the advantage of being able to incorporate the nuances and nectar of millions of flower specimens.

As a result, mead producers have additional latitude when it comes to isolating seasonal sources in customizing the flavor profiles of their beverage.

Their attention to those sorts of details is paying off.

Business is booming for many and in the past 10 years the number of commercial producers has expanded from 30 to around 250.

Individual companies boast shipping up to a thousand cases a week and some with destinations as far afield as China.

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