What Is Mead? The World's Oldest Booze Is the Latest Drink Trend

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woman holding bottle of mead

For those of you who aren’t characters on Game of Thrones, mead is a fermented honey liquor that dates all the way back to 8000 B.C. Now a new crop of producers are rediscovering the ancient hooch and putting their own spin on it. 

“What’s so great about mead is that it can be incredibly versatile in flavor, from basic honey to more complex infusions,” says Dylan Sprouse, cofounder of All-Wise Meadery in Brooklyn (and a former child star best known for The Suite Life of Zack & Cody). 

Over the past decade, the number of meaderies in the U.S. has grown from around 30 to more than 500. Other notable additions to the explosive movement include Bløm Meadworks in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Paisley Meadery in Honolulu, both of which produce small-batch and are locally focused. 

Ready to give it a try? Sprouse suggests starting with classic mead. From there, the options “go in so many directions—spritzes, cocktails, mulled with spices,” he says. “The possibilities are endless!”