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Brewing traditions
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Brewing traditions
Medostavs traditions was to take two thirds or more of honey and one third of the juice of berries and/or raspberries without adding water. The Hop is then added to the mixture, subjected to natural fermentation in barrels or open vats, after which it was repeatedly poured and kept in tarred kegs, that were buried in the ground for a long time. It was possible to drink Mead on the third year. But the ideal aging time for the drink was 10 years.

Initially, honey was an exceptionally privileged drink and for frequent use it was only available to the Magi, the prince's court, nobles and officials. Ordinary people, including knights and slaves, drank honey only on great feasts in honor of Perun or Stribog, and during the victorious feasts. In Ancient Russia, it was the most popular cult drink. Gradually, the production of honey became almost industrial and, since the XII century, everyone who had money could regularly enjoy this drink. Honey was recognized and loved in the overseas countries, to where it was imported in large quantities by merchants. It was allowed to pay taxes in honey. Over time, it has become a significant source of income and a national alcoholic drink of daily consumption. Commoners living in forest areas began to widely produce honey for their own needs.

It is very likely that the honey would have existed even now, but several events have prevented it. The main one is the baptism of Russia, during which Prince Vladimir immediately overthrew not only the old gods, but also the main cult drink. The use of honey for the glory of many ethical gods was forbidden. He was succeeded by another ritual drink - overseas red wine "malvasia", which represented the blood of Christ.

However, a little further from the Kiev people still continued to cook the honey drink in honour of the old gods, ignoring decrees and harassment. The most cheerful times came for state officials, tax collectors, boyars and princely warriors. Honey quickly passed from the guidance of the Magi, who strictly monitored the observance of the rules and rituals of the drinks consumption.

Honey stopped being a cult object, and therefore it became possible to drink it at any time, to produce for future use, to arrange honey collectors, and, of course, to trade them. Thus, honey spread far beyond the borders of Russia and turned into a "strategic goods", along with wax, hemp and tar.

Given that the honey was quite expensive, it was smuggled out, bypassing the outposts and customs. A large amount of honey began to go to the maintenance of military squads and militias. However, soon the first Russian national liquor became a big deficit. It was found that the bee hives in the hollows and decks are not bottomless, and the forests gradually began to thin out. As a result, the price of honey drink gradually rose to such an extent that it became impossible to buy it even for many wealthy people. And honey drink again became only a royal and boyar drink, served on holidays. This happened in the late XVII century.

In the XVII century, honey is already becoming a rare phenomenon, occasionally happening only in "home", rich manors. In the final disappearance of the tradition of classical medostav and medovarenie, the wars of the XVII century, and mass population movements in the Petrine era are also to blame. But the spread of vodka became disastrous for all kinds of honey based drinks. Gradually vodka replaced honey completely and irretrievably. Even cooking recipes were lost, because they were not registered, but were transmitted through the oral traditions.
01 January 1970
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