It is so ancient a beverage that the linguistic root for mead, medhu, is the same in all Indo-European languages where it encompasses an entire range of meanings, which include honey, sweet, intoxicating, drunk and drunkenness. For this reason it has been suggested that fermented honey may be the oldest form of alcohol known to man.
-Mikal Aasved, 1988
May Maelgwn of Mona be affected with mead, and affect us, From the foaming mead-horns, with the choicest pure liquor, Which the bees collect, and do not enjoy. Mead distilled sparkling, its praise is everywhere.
-XCIII Song to Mead, Book of Taeliessin XIX
Mead. Mention of it evokes images of heroes and romantic tales, of castle feasts and chivalry. Legends surround it, that of golden nectar, swirling in a goblet chased with silver, with the heady, erotic aroma of honey caressing the senses. We see Vikings, downing great tankards of frothy mead after a successful raid. One can imagine a beautiful maiden, holding the stirrup cup in her lithe hand, offering it along with a shy smile to the handsome and chivalrous knight preparing to go off to battle.
Legend has it that the word honeymoon is derived from an ancient tradition of sending a newly married couple off to seclusion for a month with much mead, to ensure their best chance to start a family quickly. Mead has been, and still is, considered the drink of love.