French winemakers can try their best but no other alcoholic
drink is as traditional as mead.
According to legend, it's older than mankind - under the name
of ambrosia, it was drunk by ancient Gods and was known by
every worthy ancient civilization. Since our Slavs were worthy,
they were very familiar with this drink of strength, bravery and love.
Mead from the baobab tree
If you forget the Gods and ask science, the answer will be that
mankind knew mead in Africa as long as 20,000 to 40,000 years ago.
In dry seasons, bees occupied holes in baobab trees and when
the rainy season arrived and the honey was mixed with water
and yeast from nature, the mixture fermented and the first
alcoholic drink in the world was created.
The word honeymoon is derived
from honey wine (mead)
Mead was the favorite drink in Kings' courts and of
aristocracy, it was a sign of affluence and prosperity. The
word 'honeymoon' (lune de miel) was created in the Middle Ages.
Mead was given as a wedding gift to newlyweds so they
would have enough for a whole month following
Newlyweds should drink mead every day to bring fertility
and affluence to their family. If a boy is born within a year,
the mead maker receives a generous reward.
Urbanization meant less honey
Mead was traditionally produced on nearly all continents. However, with urbanization, honey had a gradual demise and in Europe, for example, it was almost completely replaced with a new, imported product: sugar cane. Honey only survived
in monasteries where monks kept bees.
Another blow to mead was new, industrial methods of honey extraction. Whereas before, leftover honey in honeycombs was mainly extracted using hot water (and then mead was created from the leftover honey and water), the new mechanized system of extracting honey meant that there was no leftover honey and around 1800, mead started to decline even more.
Nowadays, mead is going through
In the last twenty years, mead has once more returned to the centre of attention. The raw material for its production is created more ecologically than other drinks.
You don't need any heavy agricultural machinery to produce honey, just the care of beekeepers. Bees provide a balance in the surrounding nature and pollinate every third mouthful we eat.
Beekeeping is starting to be popular even in cities and not only in the countryside. There are city beekeeping clubs being established and you can find beehives on many rooftops, even in large cities such as New York or London.
Just a little about bees and Smolenice
VCELOVINA is produced in the foothills of the Small Carpathian mountains, in Smolenice, in the heart of Europe. The foundations of modern Slovak beekeeping were established
not far away in Nahac. Here, in 1801 to 1802, Juraj Fandly wrote two essential books about bees - Slovak Beekeeper and A Discussion About Fallows and Also About Bees.
VCELOVINA is produced like before
- the basis is honey, water and yeast.