Most simply, mead is a wine made with honey. It is fermented with three basic ingredients: honey, water, and yeast. However, there are many different styles of mead, which are based on the basic ingredients (e.g., honey) and flavorings (e.g., herbs, spices) added, degree of sweetness, alcoholic strength, degree of carbonation, and even country of origin.
Cyser is a type of mead where all (or some) of the water used to dilute the honey is replaced with apple cider. Over the years, I have made many batches of cyser and making it has become a Fall tradition for me. Here is a basic recipe for a 5-gallon batch of spiced cyser. Cheers.
As with grape wine, the fermentation and maturation process of mead can vary considerably due to multiple factors. Yeast has specific nutrient requirements for reproduction, with nitrogen (particularly yeast-assimilable nitrogen; YAN) being one of the most important. Other major factors that influence mead fermentation are low pH and low mineral content (lighter honey).
Jun tea is a fermented beverage made with green tea and honey. It is closely related to kombucha and is not considered an alcoholic beverage if it is at or under 0.5% ABV. If it’s non-alcoholic, then why are we writing about it on a website about mead? Because it doesn’t have to be non-alcoholic and can be made more like a mead, that’s why. Plus it’s delicious and has possible probiotic and other health benefits.