Mead, or fermented honey, is one of the oldest alcoholic beverages, possibly even predating agriculture. Evidence of mead production as far back as 7,000 BC has been found in China, and cultures around the world have consumed different versions of the drink for thousands of years. Several commercial meaderies operate in Colorado, chief among them being Redstone Meadery in Boulder and Rocky Mountain Meadery in Palisade.
While mead is one of the simplest alcoholic drinks to make, a lot of finesse goes into selecting quality ingredients and keeping conditions right for the yeast to thrive. The following recipe produces a fruit-flavored mead, or “melomel,” which should be fully aged in a matter of months rather than the typical two years for pure honey mead. The oranges and cranberries also give it a sweet yet tart fruity flavor.