Many years ago when I was a free thinking, free will living type of woman I shared a sufficient amount of time with open minded groups. I was invited to a Pagan Gathering. Myself being a nervous nelly and adventurer, I swiftly did my research on the internet and from what I could tell it looked like an fun place to visit. At the time, I was very connected with my spirituality and to nature which made my upcoming experience a whole lot interesting. My lively destination was several (4) hours drive away located in the deep forests of Ocala.
Once I met up with my group I was given a tour of the grounds. There were many wonderful decorative tents for vendors to sell their crafts and clothing. The grounds definitely gave off a powerful energy, certain spots absolutely gave me chills and even made me cry. Walking towards the water, I could feel great sorrow by a majestic tree that faced a sign displaying “No swimming, beware of alligators”.
The longer I stood under this particular tree the faster sadness took hold of me, with shivers I walked away. Through out our short journey we stopped often to greet the friendly shopkeepers and curiously explored the area. This was a completely new experience for me to be surrounded by unfamiliar people in a forest. I was living as a city girl but my heart was all country.
Towards the evening after the sun set and darkness engulfed the park, I was offered to purchase a bottle of mead. I was surprised to even hear this word as my knowledge of mead came from Viking movies and songs. I was offered various flavors but I was curious to try the blackberry and peppermint. Apparently, it must have been contraband by the way it was secretly sold. Cost was $13 per bottle, which seems a bit high considering I can buy it way cheaper today. However if it was handcrafted by a fellow pagan I was happy to pay the price.
Nonetheless, I am passed a bottle with a gorgeous liquid inside. Upon tasting it, I fell instantly head over heels in love! Within my mouth I held a perfectly sweet, crispy and bubbly beverage that brought me a satisfying feeling. I was not a big drinker besides having a glass of wine socially and this refreshing new flavor enticed me to learn more. Eventually I sampled more flavors and purchased a few bottles that I happily shared with my group.
The mead complimented my joyous mood and surroundings. Around me were viking and medieval attired men and women walking around happily with bare feet up on the earth. Although my skin was brown and I did not come from a background of Caucasians, they lovingly embraced and welcomed me. I was home!
Now, let me explain what mead is:
According to Wikipedia, “Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content ranges from about 3.5% to more than 20%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage’s fermentable sugar is derived from honey.“
Years later I would get to try this wonderful drink again when a friend of mine made a batch. Being questionable in its legality it was not easy to find. The good news is that several years later, a co-worker was speaking highly of a place in Deland called Abbey (117 N Woodland Blvd. DeLand, FL 32720) that sold Mead and other crafted ales. On a rainy evening after work we decided to visit this place our co-worker was raving about. My husband Shea and I sampled a bit of mead and decided to start with the normal flavor “Abbey Normal“. We opted for a “Growler” which is refillable for less money. Shea really seemed to enjoy it as much as I did, what made me ever so thankful he was my partner. So far we have tried the Green Goddess and my all time favorite Dansk Mjod Viking Blod, this is actually their guest mead. A delightfully potent concoction that we absolutely loved. I believe it is originally made in Denmark, this mead has hibiscus and hops, which give it a soft, citrus-like flavor and floral aroma.
According to the distributor, “its finish is hoppy-dry, spicy, and very warming.” We concur! In my words I would describe this drink as sexy, arousing and orgasmic. The leap I have taken from a homemade vendor’s exquisite mead to Denmark’s fulfilling trip to Valhalla in their amazing Viking Blod has not been in vain.
With each sip of fermented honey and water excellence, my thirst for knowledge grows. I wonder how many other interesting meads lie out there around the world. The equation is infinite due to the large varieties of honey, which means the possibilities are endless.
If you discover incredible mead along your travels please share the information with us, we would love to learn more. Salud (Cheers)!
Until next time,
Love and Light!