Beer & Wine

Not only is honey used widely in food recipes, it has also, for thousands of years, been enjoyed as the basis for a variety of alcoholic drinks. A new wave of honey beers have recently been developed by leading breweries, such as Waggle Dance from Youngs. And honey wine, Mead, has been a popular choice in England for many centuries.

Mead is made from light floral honey, often brewed with spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, which is left to ferment for about a year before being consumed. It was hugely popular with the Elizabethans and is still drunk in some English pubs, particularly in the South.

Mead was considered by the ancient Greeks as the drink of the gods.

In 11th century Germany the beer was sweetened with honey.

Russia has its own version of mead, called Kvas, which is based on barley or rye. It is much lighter and less alcoholic than mead.

Metheglin, another honey liqueur, is flavoured with herbs and was more favoured by the Welsh.

Honey Ale is a hops-based drink and tends to be very strong, so is not for the faint-hearted!

After all that mead and honey ale, honey can also help to counter the effects of the 'morning after'. A simple hangover remedy can be made quickly and easily by blending:

150ml (1/4pint) orange juice
150ml (1/4pint) natural yogurt
30ml (2tbsp) runny honey

This makes enough for two servings and you can maximise its benefits by drinking half the quantity before your night out.