General information

Mead: the benefits and harm of the product, its proper use


This is an alcoholic beverage with a strength of 5-16 degrees. It is prepared on the basis of honey. The amount of alcohol contained is affected by the method of preparation. Even during the existence of Kievan Rus, mead was a traditional Slavic drink. It remained so until Tsar Peter I brought wine and vodka into the country. Mead drank during the holidays, at weddings, served on the table princes and kings. It was prepared mainly in monasteries. Mead welded there was famous throughout the country. And until now, the monks make it according to old recipes.

Honey and mead. Is there any difference?

There are differences, and significant. Honey appeared much earlier and was a soft drink. The cooking method was simple. People took honey and diluted it with water. The alcoholic beverage appeared later, after it was discovered that the contents in one barrel fermented. The first mention of honey dates to 6-7 centuries BC. e. It was used in ritual services. This is evidenced by the dishes found in ancient temples with the remains of honey and wall drawings telling how to prepare it.

In Russia, the drink was made from berries, water, herbs. The main ingredient was, of course, honey. The drink was stored in oak barrels. To ferment, you had to wait 20-40 years. The resulting drink is affectionately called honey, honey, honey, intoxicated. They drank it from small cups on special holidays: birth of a child, wedding, funeral. Under Nicholas II, the recipe for honey has changed. He began to boil, add yeast, hops. This drink was called mead. It is noteworthy that the preparation time was reduced to 1 week.

Connoisseurs note

Arguing about how useful a drink is, one cannot ignore the variety of tastes. The thing is that honey cooks make changes to the basic recipe. Adding certain spices, you can get a new taste. Ingredients, of course, are selected according to individual preferences.

The most successful combinations are obtained by adding citrus peels (lemon, orange) or the juice of these fruits to honey. From the spices can be distinguished cinnamon, ginger, cloves, black pepper. Thyme and mint will make the drink very original and unusual. If you add to the mead fresh berries or dried fruits, for example, dried apricots, raisins, figs, you get a completely new taste.

To increase the strength of the drink is also not difficult. When the fermentation process is complete, you need to add alcohol to the drink. At 1 liter of mead is enough for two tablespoons.

The benefits of mead

Honey contains a lot of vitamins, in particular, B, E, C, A, K groups. It contains large amounts of minerals and micro and macro elements - iodine, magnesium, potassium, fluorine, boron, calcium, copper, and sulfur. phosphorus. In addition, the product is rich in glucose, fructose - substances that are necessary for normal heart function. In small quantities, there is also protein in it. Based on the list of useful components of the main ingredient of the drink, we can safely talk about its positive effects on the body:

  • Detoxification,
  • Increase immunity
  • Prevention and increase the effectiveness of treatment of diseases of the cardiovascular system,
  • Elimination of pathogenic microbes, bacteria, inflammatory processes,
  • Sedative effect on the body. Honey has a beneficial effect on the human nervous system, calming, helping to combat stresses, neuroses and their negative consequences,
  • Bringing the body to tone. This contributes not only to improving the overall well-being of a person, but also increases his endurance to physical and mental stress,
  • Cleansing the body of radiation,
  • Treatment for colds, sore throats,
  • Honey has a warming effect on the tissues of the body, so that they are faster cured of diseases, if any, and are restored after them,
  • The beneficial effects of honey and mead on the body of men is to increase the potency. For women, this drink will be useful due to the fact that honey helps strengthen the walls of the uterus.

The beneficial properties of honey can be enhanced by the additional ingredients used to make mead. Usually, herbs, berries, and fruits are used as auxiliary ingredients.

Can the mead harm?

Even the most useful product, including mead, can be harmful if you don’t know the measures in its use. Given that this drink contains alcohol, this rule becomes even more relevant. In connection with the same circumstance, mead should not be used for pregnant women, given to her children even for medicinal purposes. For them, the use of natural honey in its pure form will be much more beneficial.

With caution and only with the permission of the doctor should use it for people with diabetes. People who are allergic to honey should also not use mead.
Otherwise, provided that the drink is natural, natural honey is used for its production and there are no synthetic additives, it will not bring any harm to the body.

Non-alcoholic mead - does it exist?

This drink is multifunctional - it brings pleasure when you enjoy it, besides, it has a positive effect on the body. For whatever purpose you would not use it, it is important to remember that you should not do this in large quantities. This is due to the fact that mead - an alcoholic drink, despite the fact that it is only 5-16 degrees.

But what do people who do not want to take alcoholic beverages even in small quantities and with a small amount of alcohol? They can indulge themselves non-alcoholic mead.
There are recipes by which you can prepare such a drink. It is worth saying that the meager alcohol content is still present in it - this is the inevitability caused by the cooking technique - the processes of natural fermentation. But the alcohol content is so low in this type of drink that they are not able to cause any harm to the body. In this regard, he fully deserves to be called non-alcoholic mead.

How drank mead then, and how to use it now?

  • The tradition of using mead in the cold during the summertime has remained unchanged. Its temperature should be 4-5 degrees. In winter, the drink, on the contrary, is heated, drunk it in a warm form, as well as in cases when it treats colds, a sore throat. It is important not to boil it when heated,
  • Before mead drank from wooden cups, later from the enchantments. Today it is used from glasses, small glasses, mugs. By the way, the ancient Swedes and Scandinavians also used mugs for drinking mead during feasts. But the capacity of this mug is able to impress modern admirers of honey delicacy - about 1.5 liters. However, the alcohol content in the drink was so small that in order to get drunk, you had to drink a lot more mead. She did not cause hangover. This can be said about modern drinks, but only if they are prepared according to the correct recipe, without adding chemicals.

It is noted that some modern medovars prepare much stronger honey mead than their ancient predecessors. In this case, and the favorite dose of the Scandinavians and Swedes will be more than enough to get drunk well.

Only by purchasing mead from a responsible seller and / or manufacturer, you can be sure that it will have exactly the degree that it claims. Knowing the value of this indicator, you can calculate the dosage that does not harm your body. As for what meed, mead, then for a long time and today for this uses a variety of products.

The most popular snack for a drink are such products and dishes:

  • Soaked berries and fruits. They are considered the most correct snack for this drink, which in ancient times was very loved by our ancestors. Most often, the choice stops on the wet cloudberries, lingonberries, cranberries. Salty watermelons, pickled apples - no less pleasant and tasty "accompaniment" to this drink,
  • Pickled vegetables - another popular kind of snack to mead. Pickled tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage (certainly with lingonberries), beets, rutabaga, radish and many other vegetables, which are not deprived of the inhabitants of our edges. By the way, our ancestors did not like garlic very much, almost never used it with mead,
  • Sweet snack. In the old days on the lush, rich feasts almost a delicacy was considered the presence of mead in the “company” with Tula gingerbread on the table. Today, instead of gingerbread, you can serve to the drink a curd cheesecake, cheesecakes, baked delicacies with raisins. Speaking of sweets, of course, you should not overlook the gifts of nature - fresh apples, currants and other berries and fruits will be an excellent snack for mead.

Modernity added to the list of appetizers to the drink and meat - salted, smoked, dried. But fish and seafood do not suit it - such a combination is completely devoid of taste, and besides, it can cause an attack of nausea.

Mead recipes

You can cook it yourself using proven recipes. For the manufacture of alcoholic honey drink, you can use this recipe.

  • Water - 2 l,
  • Honey - 300 g,
  • Hop cones - 5 g
  • Nutmeg - 1 shchip,
  • Cinnamon - 1 pinch,
  • Yeast - 25 g pressed or 1 tsp. dry.

Preparing a drink in this way:

  1. First you need to choose honey. It is advisable to stop the choice on fragrant varieties. It is important that the main ingredient is natural and high quality, so you need to buy it from a trusted, responsible manufacturer.
  2. Dissolve honey in water. To do this, pour water into an enamel pot, bring it to a boil, add honey to it. Constantly stir the mixture with a spoon, not removing it from the heat. After about 5 minutes of the boiling process, a white foam will form. It must be cleaned with a spoon.
  3. Add hops, nutmeg, cinnamon to the boiling mixture, mix all components again, remove the container with the composition from the fire.
  4. Next, prepare the mixture for fermentation. Cool it to a temperature of 25-30 degrees, after which you need to add the yeast in diluted form. Move the dishes with him in a dark room, the temperature of which is 25 degrees. To achieve the desired temperature mode, you can use the aquarium heater. It is advisable to tie the dishes with gauze to prevent insects and foreign bodies from entering it. After 1-2 days, there will be visible signs of fermentation, which are manifested by hissing, foam formation. The liquid must be poured into another container, in which fermentation will continue. This may be plastic packaging. The neck of the container should be equipped with a medical glove, having made a hole in it (near the finger).
  5. Usually the duration of fermentation is 4-6 days. When the process is over, the glove will deflate or the bubbles will no longer stand out. It is also possible to check the readiness of the product by placing a burning match to it. The liquid will not ignite from it, but the match, staying near it, will not go out.
  6. Drain the mead into another container, which should be done carefully, leaving the sediment in the previous vessel. The fluid must be decanted using several gauze layers. You can do this procedure several times.
  7. The finished mead is bottled (plastic containers can also be used), sent to the fridge or to the basement.

You can drink the drink immediately after decanting, and yet true connoisseurs and connoisseurs of this drink are recommended to let it brew for 3-5 days, and only then begin to taste.

Prepare non-alcoholic mead somewhat easier.
The following ingredients will be required:

  • Flower honey - 2 kg,
  • Fresh cherry - 2.5 kg,
  • Water (preferably melted or at least just purified) - 1 l.

We prepare non-alcoholic (low-alcoholic) mead so:

  1. Combine water with honey, boil the resulting liquid,
  2. We continue to boil the composition for 15 minutes, not forgetting to remove the foam that appears,
  3. Next, let the mixture cool so that it becomes room temperature. It should not be more than 45 degrees.,
  4. From the cherries we remove the stones, put the fruit in a container that can be closed,
  5. Pour the previously prepared syrup over the cherries, cover the vessel with the mixture with a towel or several layers of gauze.
  6. Then the fermentation process will begin, which will be accompanied by the release of gas. At this point, you need to carefully seal the container, send it to a cool place for 3 months.
  7. After the specified time, the mead must be drained, and you can begin to pamper yourself with a delicious non-alcoholic drink.

It is worth noting yet again - any fermented beverages contain alcohol, in some cases a very small percentage, so they talk about "non-alcoholic mead", but still it is not entirely correct that the alcohol content in mead produced by fermentation without yeast can reach 2 -4 degrees. On the website Honey and Confiture of Russia you can buy high-quality mead, made from natural ingredients according to proven recipes. These are products of such well-known and reputable manufacturers as Altai Tea Company, Kolomna Beekeeping Combine, Altai Starover, Sachera-Med, Suzdal Medovarenniy Zavod, Stolbushinsky Product and other trusted manufacturers.

These are domestic manufacturers who have been trusted by their consumers for many years. They won the respect of themselves for the highest quality products.
Mead can be a very useful goodness, if you choose the manufacturer, whose products you use.

Calorie mead

The rich composition of mead speaks of the incredible benefits of this natural drink. He is the progenitor of wine and belongs to the favorite drinks of the Slavic peoples. Today, large-scale industrial production plants of mead are located in Altai, Novgorod, Pavlovsky Posad, Kolomna.

  • Unsaturated fatty acids
  • Carbohydrates, proteins
  • Starchy substances
  • Cellulose
  • Ash joints
  • Oligosaccharides
  • Cholesterol
  • Vitamins of the groups: H, E, PP, B (B9, B6, B5, B2, B1), A, C
  • Iron, nickel, magnesium, cobalt, chlorine, molybdenum, iodine, potassium, manganese, vanadium, chromium, sodium, calcium, rubidium

The nutritional value of mead is from 65 to 100 calories, depending on the set of fruits, the amount, type of honey and the additional components used during the preparation of the drink.

Mead: harm

The moderate use of mead can not harm the body - the benefits in this case is a priority. However, due to the alcohols contained in this product, and increased sweetness, honey drink in some cases is not recommended. Harm medovuhi not excluded if you take it in unlimited quantities.

It should be remembered that the benefits of mead will be if it is prepared from natural ingredients, and even better - at home. In the store drink there are fusel oils and other harmful substances, the use of which destroys the body.

Drink is contraindicated in such cases:

  • Pregnancy, lactation period
  • Diabetes
  • Honey allergy
  • Diseases of the nervous system
  • Obesity
  • Individual intolerance to the components of the drink
  • Diseases of the digestive system

It is necessary to regard the harm of medovukha from the position of its relation to alcohol-containing beverages. You can not take a drink to children under 18 years old, and with excessive amounts of drinking can cause alcoholism.

The benefits of mead

The intoxicating honey drink has a diaphoretic, vasodilator, anti-inflammatory, diuretic and antiallergic effect on the human body. It is used in culinary, cosmetic and medicinal purposes. Mead warms, eliminates pathogenic bacteria, helps to overcome hangover.

The benefits of mead for humans:

  • Cleansing the body
  • Normalization of the nervous system
  • Puffiness removal
  • Help with colds, sore throat, bronchitis
  • Blood circulation improvement
  • Metabolism restoration
  • Sleep improvement
  • Muscle pain relief
  • Increased potency in men
  • Immunity strengthening

Also, the drink removes from the body toxins, radionuclides, harmful metals. Due to a considerable amount of useful ingredients, mead is recommended for use during the period of spring avitaminosis, and in a non-alcoholic form, it can also be taken by pregnant women to replenish valuable minerals and substances in the body.

Classic Mead

Aromatic honey (good quality, fresh) is poured in a ratio of 1: 7 with water and brought to a boil. The foam is removed, and the mixture is boiled until it stops foaming. Then this mixture is cooled to a temperature of 40-50 degrees, add yeast and incubated in a warm place for 30 days. After that, the yeast must be added again, and again leave the mead for a month to infuse. Готовый напиток разливают по бутылкам, охлаждают.

Медовуха с хмелем

Сам процесс приготовления хмельной медовухи аналогичен классическому. Fresh hops are washed and put into the drink during boiling, before adding the yeast. They are kept for 5 days, then filtered and bottled. For the strength in each bottle add 1 tablespoon of alcohol.

In the process of cooking, you can create your own, special cooking options for the intoxicating drink, adding additional components to it according to your preferences. Mead is perfectly combined with cloves, cinnamon, dried fruits, ginger, wild berries.

How to drink mead

Mead drank in Russia during noisy feasts, holidays. Initially, a mug with a fragrant drink was passed around, so that all guests could enjoy its wonderful taste and smell. I never had a headache in the morning from drunk - the harm of the mead in its natural form was completely excluded. The drink was taken for cheerfulness, fun at the festival, health promotion.

Today, mead is drunk according to rules that have not changed significantly since ancient times:

  • It can be taken as an aperitif (on an empty stomach before eating). Mead stimulates digestion, improves appetite and metabolism.
  • In the summer heat hop drink necessarily cool, trying not to shake the bottle.
  • In winter, a slight warming of the drink is allowed for maximum warming effect.

They drink mead without any haste, in small sips, enjoying its amazing taste from small glasses. And it is better to combine with snacks, smoked meat, pickles. You can combine it with fruits and berries, pastries.

How to store mead

Mead, cooked according to old recipes, can be stored in an oak barrel up to 20-40 years old, gaining all the new facets of taste.

Homemade mead drink, produced according to modern recipes using boiling, is not recommended to be stored for more than six months.

Of course, a drink prepared according to all traditions in a huge wooden barrel, will be tastier than boiled mead. The only question is, will you stand for 20-40 years to wait for the insistence of this tasty, amber drink?

How and what to eat mead?

Turn again to history and see what our ancestors drank mead with.

Classic snacks were stewed berries of lingonberry, cloudberries, cranberries, pickled apples, salted watermelon. Pickled vegetables (cucumbers, tomatoes, cabbage with berries, mountain ash, turnips and rutabaga, onions) - the second most popular appetizer.

Such sweet snacks like fresh apples and currants (black and red) perfectly complemented the sweet and sour taste of the honey drink. Rye and oatmeal kissel, gingerbread and meat pie were also served as snacks.

Now, as before, it is customary to serve mead before the main meal with a hearty meal, with plenty of light snacks (savory and sweet) or fruits. At the same time the most various products are used.

To meet on the table soaked fruits and berries today can be infrequent. Sour and pickled vegetables, all sorts of pickles are much more popular. Often served with mead salted, dried or smoked meat, sweet pastries with cottage cheese and raisins, cheesecakes and fresh fruit.

Connoisseurs do not recommend eating honey and fish with seafood. It is believed that these products are not at all combined with the drink and can spoil the taste.

It is believed that mead generally do not need a snack. It is based on the fact that this drink itself is tasty and does not require any flavor enhancers by other products.

How and with what to drink mead, snack or not - the decision is made individually. Now they drink it differently: before meals, and after, and during, eating at times with what was found in the refrigerator.

Here the main thing - do not harm yourself and your health. And this can happen if you abuse the drink and do not take into account the possibility of an allergic reaction in those who suffer from intolerance to honey or other product that is part of the drink.

Origin and Description

Medovukha is a traditional honey drink with a low fortress, which was made by natural fermentation of bee honey. The composition necessarily includes water, honey and yeast, and depending on the recipe can be added berries and fruits, herbs, spices, alcohol. Typically, the fortress varies from 9 to 14 degrees and depends on the initial amount of honey, the duration of exposure, temperature of infusion, added ingredients. Interestingly, according to ancient recipes, which did not involve the use of yeast and artificial additives, the fortress did not exceed 5-6%, but in modern conditions such mead is a rarity.

Honey drinks and honey has been spread since the times of Ancient Russia. At that time, no holiday was complete without a sweet, laughing drink. It is possible that the first month after the marriage was called honey, precisely because on the feast the newlyweds were given a whole keg of honey. However, from the 15th to the 17th centuries, vodka and wine began to crowd out the mead. The old drink was revived by the end of the 19th century and acquired modern characteristics. In the early years of Soviet rule, they began to prepare mead from “immature” honey.

Today mead is considered the national drink of Russia, and the most famous places of its manufacture are Suzdal and Nizhny Novgorod.

The taste of mead

Honey drink can be different shades depending on the color and type of honey, method of preparation and other components (for example, berries). This is usually a clear liquid with a slight golden yellow or amber tint. Those who know about mead only by hearsay may mistakenly believe that the mead resembles a sweet, crumbly liqueur. In fact, the classic drink is quite liquid, it can be freely poured, and the taste is more like wine. The level of sweetness is different in different recipes: the mead can resemble a dry, semi-sweet or sweet wine.

Berries, herbs and spices definitely add their emphasis to the final taste. The aroma of the drink also depends on the ingredients, as the berries, fruits and spices can give the drink a unique sweet-sour or tart notes.


There are many types of drink, the main of which are:

  1. Hearty (boiled). Made by the method of fermentation, honey is sterilized by boiling.
  2. Staged This kind of drink is the most ancient. Thus, yeast did not participate in the fermentation process, and boiling was not used for sterilization. Fermentation processes were started with the help of bee bread, sourdough, or hops. However, the method is expensive and time consuming, so it has not been used for a long time.
  3. Intoxicating. Hop is added to the drink to speed up the fermentation processes.
  4. Non-alcoholic. There is no fortress in the drink.
  5. Fake. In the composition there are many additional components: fruits, berries, spices, herbs, etc.

Apart from non-alcoholic, the strength distinguishes mead light and strong (up to 14% and more than 14%), as well as fortified (if alcohol was added). In addition, it is distinguished by the degree of exposure, by adding sugar to the final product.

Composition and useful properties

This drink is not without nutrients - however, it is worth understanding that their total amount will depend on the composition. The averages are:

  • caloric content - 60-70 kcal,
  • carbohydrates - 7.6 g,
  • proteins - 0.06 g,
  • sugar - 6.7 g
Also, the drink is rich in vitamins (C, E, A, PP, group B), micro- and macro-elements (potassium, sodium, phosphorus, chlorine, magnesium, copper).

Honey, as the main ingredient, has bactericidal, immunomodulatory, anti-inflammatory effects. In moderate doses, an alcoholic beverage is often used for such illnesses:

  • in the initial stages of a cold, with nasopharyngeal diseases,
  • coughing and bronchitis
  • with avitaminosis,
  • to protect the body against bacterial and viral infections,
  • with reduced immunity
  • with hangover.

Sometimes with the approval of a doctor, mead can be used for medicinal purposes in diseases of the heart and blood vessels, insomnia, metabolic disorders, and problems with digestion. In general, drinking has a tonic, invigorating effect, a positive effect on the nervous system. Previously, the honey drink was regularly consumed before meals to start the digestive processes.

Contraindications and harm

Strong contraindications to drinking low-alcohol drinks are:

  • allergic to honey
  • pregnancy,
  • childhood,
  • diabetes.
It is necessary to consult a doctor about the possibility of use in case of liver diseases. In diabetes, it is not recommended to take a drink due to the fact that manufacturers often add sugar to the composition. It must be remembered that this is an alcoholic drink, albeit with a low percentage of strength, therefore, with excessive use, alcohol dependence may occur. If you are too keen on mead, all its beneficial properties can be harmful to the body.

Recommendations for use

In the old days, the use of mead occurred on a big holiday and was a whole ritual. Honey drink was served at the beginning of the feast (the so-called aperitif), ate with sweet and savory dishes. Over time, the culture of drinking has changed, but some rules remain relevant today:

  1. It is necessary to drink from glasses, small mugs or glasses.
  2. In summer, it is necessary to cool the drink to 5 ° C, in the winter - to warm up.
  3. Capacity cannot be shaken, otherwise foam is quickly formed.
  4. If the fortress exceeds 14%, you can not drink more than 500 ml for one feast.
  5. It is better to drink mead before eating food.
  6. It is necessary to consume in small sips to fully enjoy the taste.

How and what does mead snack

Although mead is a rather weak drink that does not "beat" to the head and does not cause a hangover, it is better to have a snack. Since ancient times, this was done by a variety of products.

  1. The most popular, correct and main snack were soaked berries and fruits. So, earlier it was decided to have a snack with pickled apples, cranberries, watermelon.
  2. Next, be sure to try pickled vegetables - cabbage, root vegetables, tomatoes and cucumbers.
  3. Sweet foods were also popular - fruits, berries, gingerbread, oatmeal and rye jelly, which perfectly complemented the sweet and sour taste of drinking.

Today, this list of dishes can be supplemented with the following: meat products (ham, pork, sausage cuts), canned vegetables and mushrooms, sweet pastry, dried fruits and nuts.


For cooking will need the following components:

  • honey - 300 g,
  • water - 2 l,
  • yeast - 1 tsp,
  • hop cones - 2-3 pcs.,
  • spices (cinnamon, nutmeg) - on a pinch.

Phased cooking

Next, you need to perform simple steps:

  1. In a saucepan, boil the indicated amount of water, add honey at the boil, constantly stir the mixture.
  2. After 5 minutes of boiling water with honey, add spices and hops.
  3. Remove the container from the heat, cover and cool to 50 ° C.
  4. Dissolve the yeast in a small container with water, add to the pan. Put it in a warm place with a constant temperature of 25 ° C.
  5. The formation of foam on the surface will indicate that fermentation has begun. The mixture must be poured into a container with a water seal (as an option, into glass jars covered with a medical glove with holes).
  6. You can understand that the fermentation is complete, by a lowered glove (during the fermentation period, the glove is inflated), or with the help of a match brought to the opening of the can - if the fire does not flare up more, the fermentation is over.
  7. Medovukha need to decant, avoiding falling into the liquid of the lower layer from the bottom of the can.
  8. Further, the drink can be poured into a permanent container and placed for infusion in a cool place.
You can consume it after 5 days, but if you wish, you can insist even longer.

Video: how to make mead at home

As can be seen, the mead has undeservedly lost its popularity. Despite the alcohol content, this drink is tolerated very easily by the body, and is also used to cure certain diseases. The main thing - when used to comply with the measure and the right snack. And ease of preparation and a wide variety of recipes is a good incentive to try to make mead yourself.