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For thousands of years, people have succumbed to the alcoholic effects of mead. Fortunately, we live in an era with technologies that make booze a little less, uh, boozy. You may have wondered if there are non-alcoholic mead recipes out there, just waiting to be brewed and tasted. Or maybe there’s an under-aged heathen in your group who wants to sip honey wine with the rest of the Vikings.
You’re in luck.
Mead—What is It?
By definition, mead is an alcoholic beverage that is made from water and fermented honey. There is some yeast involved for fermentation and the formation of alcohol, too. Depending on how mead is made, it could be a lot like beer or wine; it usually has a decent ABV, too.
Does Non-Alcoholic Mead Exist?
Although it is less common in the United States than elsewhere in the world, non-alcoholic mead does exist. There are several varieties of non-alcoholic mead available in the UK and Europe. Sweden, for example, is known for selling both alcoholic and non-alcoholic variations of mead in restaurants and stores. In Finland, there is sima, an alcohol-free mead that the Finnish like the drink on the First of May.
You can learn how to make sima with this video:
There are also a couple German manufacturers, including Hexentrunk, who makes an unfermented and alcohol-free mead alternative known as “Honigtau.”
Honigtau comes in flavors like blackcurrant, cherry, and lemon. The mead-flavored alternative is made with 100% pure honey and juices from several fruits.
Another alternative is “Empress Woodland,” a non-alcoholic honey wine that comes straight from the Oslo Brewing Co. Instead of using yeast, Oslo Brewing Co. utilized kombucha to make a soft sparkling honey wine.
Non-Alcoholic Mead Recipes
Now that you know about some brands that make non-alcoholic mead, you are probably wondering how to do it yourself. The only difference you may notice in the mead-brewing process is the subtraction of yeast. Without yeast, there will be little to no fermentation to make alcohol. Here are a couple of recipes that taste delightful:
Citrus Non-Alcoholic Mead
This recipe is summery and light. Furthermore, the prep and cook time is short, so you could make several batches in a day and have plenty of mead to go around.
- 1L water
- 340g 100% unfiltered honey
- 1 lemon
- 1 orange
- ½ tsp ground nutmeg
- ½ tsp ground fresh ginger (not powdered)
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- Fill a non-metallic pot or pan with your 1 liter of water, honey, and spices and bring that to a boil.
- Meanwhile, slice up the lemon and orange.
- Stir the mixture on the stove so that the honey dissolves into the water. Use a wooden spoon to remove any skin that develops on top of the mixture.
- Keep the mixture boiling as you add the lemon and orange slices. Squeeze the juice from each one before dropping it into the liquid.
- Once all the fruit has been added, reduce the heat and let your brew cool completely.
- Strain out the remnants of fruit and spices. Store the non-alcoholic mead in a glass jug in the refrigerator.
- Serve with mint leaves. Enjoy!
Non-Alcoholic Mead with Grape Juice
Perhaps you like the idea of a honey wine instead. This recipe is simple and requires only three ingredients, though you are welcome to add in cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, and nutmeg, if desired.
- 1 cup unfiltered honey
- 2 quarts white grape juice
- 1 bottle sparkling grape juice
- Optional spices
- In a saucepan, heat the white grape juice and honey until the honey has melted completely. If you are using spices, add them at this time. Do not bring it to a boil.
- Remove the mixture from the heat.
- Pour in the sparkling grape juice.
- Cool or serve at room temperature.
There’s a Mead For Everyone
If you have a hankering for mead but not the alcoholic, you are now armed with non-alcoholic mead recipes that are also child-friendly. Who knew making a non-alcoholic mead could be so easy? Give the ones in this article a try or make your own and let us know how it goes.
Yes, you can either buy or make non-alcoholic mead. Right now, it may be easier to make non-alcoholic mead in the US than purchase it, but it does exist. In the UK and Europe, non-alcoholic mead is widely available.
If you want to remove alcohol from mead, the best way is to boil off the alcohol. Since alcohol has a low vapor pressure, you can use that to your advantage. Pour the mead into a pot and heat it to around 175 degrees F (79.4 degrees C). Maintain that temperature and let the mead continue to boil for 15 to 20 minutes. The alcohol will be released into the air.
Afterwards, cool the mead before drinking. The downside to this process is that you lose some of the characteristic flavors of authentic mead.
A child cannot drink regular alcoholic mead. However, if you procure a bottle of Honigtau or a mead-flavored alternative, they should be able to drink it. Non-alcoholic mead contains no alcohol and is often not fermented.
Honey mead can be either alcoholic or non-alcoholic, depending on whether it was fermented. Non-alcoholic honey mead will have only honey and fruit juices in the ingredients.
Simple 5 Gallon Mead Recipe for Homebrewers
Mead can be as simple or complex as you desire. Whether you want to brew mead up the Viking way or use more modern elements, there are plenty of ways to whip up 5 gallons of mead.
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