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10 Of The Best Mead Recipes

10 Of The Best Mead Recipes

Let me come out and say that I am a huge fan of mead. To give you a basic idea of what mead is, think of it as “honey wine.” While that may or may not be a gross simplification, that is indeed what it tastes like to me. Like wine, it is created through a process of fermentation, the difference being that mead is made by fermenting honey rather than grapes.

Unlike wine, mead goes down very easily, much like flavored rum. So I suppose I should warn you to be a bit cautious when choosing to imbibe this particular beverage. While it is easier to drink than your average wine, it also packs nearly twice the amount of alcoholic content.

With that disclaimer out of the way, let’s begin shall we? Below are a few mead recipes that piqued my interest, and indeed, I definitely plan on making a couple of these in the near future.

Note: these aren’t ranked, so don’t feel like the mead I have listed at #1 is inherently better than the one listed at #10.

1. Joe Mattioli’s Ancient Orange and Spice Mead

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    Ah, what better way to start off this list than with a mead made for the holidays?

    This mead recipe calls for the use of all of your wintry favorites, like cinnamon, clove, and nutmeg. Its creator suggests making a batch in April if you want it to be ready-to-drink in December, so now is the perfect time to whip up your own version!

    Click here for the full recipe!

    2. Sir Michael of York Mead

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      This mead has the distinction of being created by an expert in the brewing industry, so it’s a safe bet that you’ll like it.

      What also caught my eye here is that this mead ages pretty quickly, at least in comparison to Joe Mattioli’s mead. Indeed, you can drink it about a month after first mixing the ingredients together.

      As the source recipe notes, you need to place it in a refrigerated area as it ages, else the mixture can become “explosive.” Guess that’s why they made us all take chemistry in high school!

      Click here for the full recipe!

      3. Cyser Apple Mead

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        This recipe notes that “cyser” is a combination of honey and apple cider, which to me sounds like a match made in heaven. And, ironically enough, this just happens to be a drink that was supremely popular during Biblical times.

        Click here for the full recipe!

        4. Elderberry Mead

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          Elderberries are thought to have powerful medical effects, and have been known to be used in a variety of homemade cold and flu remedies.

          The creator of this recipe states that the beneficial attributes of elderberries remain within the mead even after the brewing process, and thus you can drink this tasty creation whenever you feel like you are coming down with something nasty.

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          Click here for the full recipe!

          5. Cherry Mead

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            We add cherries and cherry flavor to countless other beverages, so why not mead?

            What’s great about this particular brew is that the ingredients required to make it are inexpensive and easily attainable. My suggestion would be to buy your cherries when they are cheap and in season. Then, make this mead, and you’ll have access to a cherry-based beverage that will last you until the fruit is in season again!

            Click here for the full recipe!

            6. Vanilla Bean Chamomile Mead

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              Vanilla lattes are incredibly popular amongst coffee lovers. If the flavor works so wonderfully with espresso, why not add it to mead? That’s exactly what this brilliant recipe allows you to do.

              It’s made even better by the fact that it’s accompanied by chamomile, an ingredient you will often find in tea (it’s usually quite calming).

              The creator of this recipe states that this mead “rolls over the tongue like a dream.” I’m afraid I can’t give it any better of an endorsement than that!

              Click here for the full recipe!

              7. Fire Mead

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                As the name would suggest, this mead is brewed using a variety of spicy, tongue-tingling ingredients.

                If you’re a fan of foods that make your mouth burn, then this might be the alcoholic beverage for you, as it incorporates chili peppers to provide a nice kick.

                Click here for the full recipe!

                8. Classic Mead

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                  I’ve listed a bunch of fanciful and flavorful mead recipes, but what if you just want to make some of the original, basic stuff? Don’t worry, I haven’t forgot about that!

                  This is a great mead to make if you’re just starting out as a home brewer. Once you’ve mastered something like this, it will be easy to try out all sorts of crazy flavor combinations.

                  What I also like about this recipe is that its creator wrote it with novices in mind, providing clear step-by-step instructions. This is a huge help if you have never brewed anything before.

                  Click here for the full recipe!

                  9. Blackberry Mead

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                    According to the author of this recipe, blackberry mead is the perfect beverage to brew during the summer. This is mainly because summer is, depending on where you live, the season when you’ll be able to go out and pick your own blackberries.

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                    Additionally, this mead is noted as being sweet, but not overly sweet. If you like balance in your brews then this one might be for you.

                    Click here for the full recipe!

                    10. Maple Mead

                    10meadzt

                      What happens when a mead-lover finds a bottle of maple syrup in their cupboards? They use it to create an entirely new kind of mead of course!

                      This one is for you pancake and waffle lovers. If you love the taste of maple syrup on your breakfast foodstuffs, this mead just might be the best drink you’ve ever tasted.

                      As the creator of this recipe notes, it can be a tad sweet. If you would like to change that, you can always cut down on the amount of honey you use.

                      Click here for the full recipe!

                      Conclusions

                      Hope you all enjoyed this list of magnificent mead recipes! Remember: mead is chock full of alcohol and it goes down easy, so pace yourself. Also, if you are just starting out, I highly suggest attempting the classic mead recipe first. It really lays out the brewing process in a straightforward and easy-to-grasp manner. Happy mead-making folks!

                      Have you tried brewing alcoholic beverages in the past? Were they successes? Tell us your stories in the comments below!

                      Featured photo credit: Mead/ Paul Joseph via flickr.com

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                      Published on November 14, 2018

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      Why You Suffer from Constant Fatigue and How to Deal with It

                      With our busy, always on lives, it seems that more and more of us are facing constant tiredness and fatigue on a regular basis.

                      For many people, they just take this in their stride as part of modern life, but for others the impact can be crippling and can have a serious effect on their sense of wellbeing, health and productivity.

                      In this article, I’ll share some of the most common causes of constant tiredness and fatigue and give you some guidance and action steps you can take to overcome some of the symptoms of fatigue.

                      Why Am I Feeling Fatigued?

                      Fatigue is extreme tiredness resulting from mental or physical exertion or illness.  It is a reduction in the efficiency of a muscle or organ after prolonged activity.[1]

                      It can affect anyone, and most adults will experience fatigue at some point in their life. 

                      For many people, fatigue is caused by a combination of lifestyle, social, psychological and general wellbeing issues rather than an underlying medical condition.

                      Although fatigue is sometimes described as tiredness, it is different to just feeling tired or sleepy. Everyone feels tired at some point, but this is usually resolved with a nap or a few nights of good sleep. Someone who is sleepy may also feel temporarily refreshed after exercising. If you are getting enough sleep, good nutrition and exercising regularly but still find it hard to perform, concentrate or be motivated at your normal levels, you may be experiencing a level of fatigue that needs further investigation. 

                      Symptoms of Fatigue

                      Fatigue can cause a vast range of physical, mental and emotional symptoms including:

                      • chronic tiredness, exhaustion or sleepiness
                      • mental blocks
                      • lack of motivation
                      • headache
                      • dizziness
                      • muscle weakness
                      • slowed reflexes and responses
                      • impaired decision-making and judgement
                      • moodiness, such as irritability
                      • impaired hand-to-eye coordination
                      • reduced immune system function
                      • blurry vision
                      • short-term memory problems
                      • poor concentration
                      • reduced ability to pay attention to the situation at hand

                      Causes of Fatigue

                      The wide range of causes that can trigger fatigue include:

                      • Medical causes: Constant exhaustion, tiredness and fatigue may be a sign of an underlying illness, such as a thyroid disorder, heart disease, anemia or diabetes.
                      • Lifestyle-related causes: Being overweight and a lack of regular exercise can lead to feelings of fatigue.  Lack of sleep and overcommitting can also create feelings of excessive tiredness and fatigue.
                      • Workplace-related causes: Workplace and financial stress in a variety of forms can lead to feelings of fatigue.
                      • Emotional concerns and stress: Fatigue is a common symptom of mental health problems, such as depression and grief, and may be accompanied by other signs and symptoms, including irritability and lack of motivation.

                      Fatigue can also be caused by a number of factors working in combination.

                      Medical Causes of Fatigue

                      If you have made lifestyle changes to increase your energy and still feel exhausted and fatigued, it may be time to seek guidance from your doctor.

                      Here are a few examples of illnesses that can cause ongoing fatigue. Seek medical advice if you suspect you have a health problem:

                      Anemia

                      Anemia is a condition in which you don’t have enough healthy red blood cells to carry adequate oxygen to the body’s tissues. It is a common cause of fatigue in women.

                      Having anemia may make you feel tired and weak.

                      There are many forms of anemia, each with its own cause. Anemia can be temporary or long term, and it can range from mild to severe.[2]

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS)

                      Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is a condition that can cause persistent, unexplained fatigue that interferes with daily activities for more than six months.

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                      This is a chronic condition with no one-size-fits-all treatment, but lifestyle changes can often help ease some symptoms of fatigue.[3]

                      Diabetes

                      Diabetes can cause fatigue with either high or low blood sugars. When your sugars are high, they remain in the bloodstream instead of being used for energy, which makes you feel fatigued. Low blood sugar (glucose) means you may not have enough fuel for energy, also causing fatigue.[4]

                      Sleep Apnea

                      Sleep apnea is a serious sleep disorder where sufferers briefly stop breathing for short periods during sleep. Most people are not aware this is happening, but it can cause loud snoring, and daytime fatigue.

                      Being overweight, smoking, and drinking alcohol can all worsen the symptoms of sleep apnea.[5]

                      Thyroid disease

                      An underactive thyroid gland means you have too little thyroid hormone (thyroxine) in your body. This makes you feel tired and you could also put on weight and have aching muscles and dry skin.[6]

                      Common lifestyle factors that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Lack of sleep
                      • Too much sleep 
                      • Alcohol and drugs 
                      • Sleep disturbances 
                      • Lack of regular exercise and sedentary behaviour 
                      • Poor diet 

                      Common workplace issues that can cause fatigue include:

                      • Shift work: Our body is designed to sleep during the night. A shift worker may confuse their circadian clock by working when their body is programmed to be asleep.
                      • Poor workplace practices: This may include long work hours, hard physical labour, irregular working hours (such as rotating shifts), a stressful work environment, boredom or working alone. 
                      • Workplace stress – This can be caused by a wide range of factors including job dissatisfaction, heavy workload, conflicts with bosses or colleagues, bullying, or threats to job security.
                      • Burnout: This could be striving too hard on one area of your life while neglecting others, which leads to a life that feels out of balance.

                      Psychological Causes of Fatigue

                      Psychological factors are present in many cases of extreme tiredness and fatigue.  These may include:

                      • Depression: Depression is characterised by severe and prolonged feelings of sadness, dejection and hopelessness. People who are depressed commonly experience chronic fatigue.
                      • Anxiety and stress: Someone who is constantly anxious or stressed keeps their body in overdrive. The constant flooding of adrenaline exhausts the body, and fatigue sets in.
                      • Grief: Losing a loved one causes a wide range of emotions including shock, guilt, depression, despair and loneliness.

                      How to Tackle Constant Fatigue

                      Here are 12 ways you can start tackling the causes of fatigue and start feeling more energetic.

                      1. Tell The Truth

                      Some people can numb themselves to the fact that they are overtired or fatigued all the time. In the long run, this won’t help you.

                      To give you the best chance to overcome or eliminate fatigue, you must diagnose and tell the truth about the things that are draining your energy, making you tired or causing constant fatigue.

                      Once you’re honest with yourself about the activities you’re doing in your life that you find irritating, energy-draining, and make you tired on a regular basis you can make a commitment to stop doing them.

                      The help that you need to overcome fatigue is available to you, but not until you tell the truth about it. The first person you have to sell on getting rid of the causes of fatigue is yourself.

                      One starting point is to diagnose the symptoms. When you start feeling stressed, overtired or just not operating at your normal energy levels make a note of:

                      • How you feel
                      • What time of day it is
                      • What may have contributed to your fatigue
                      • How your mind and body reacts

                      This analysis may help you identify, understand and then eliminate very specific causes.

                      2. Reduce Your Commitments

                      When we have too many things on our plate personally and professionally, we can feel overstretched, causing physical and mental fatigue.

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                      If you have committed to things you really don’t want to do, this causes irritability and low emotional engagement. Stack these up throughout your day and week, then your stress levels will rise.

                      When these commitments have deadlines associated with them, you may be trying to cram in far too much in a short period of time.  This creates more stress and can affect your decision making ability.

                      Start being realistic about how much you can get done. Either reduce the commitments you have or give yourself more time to complete them in.

                      3. Get Clear On Your Priorities

                      If working on your list of to-do’s or goals becomes too overwhelming, start reducing and prioritizing the things that matter most.

                      Start with prioritizing just 3 things every day. When you complete those 3 things, you’ll get a rush of energy and your confidence will grow.

                      If you’re trying to juggle too many things and are multi-tasking, your energy levels will drop and you’ll struggle to maintain focus.

                      Unfinished projects can make you self-critical and feel guilty which drops energy levels further, creating inaction.

                      Make a list of your 3 MIT (Most Important Tasks) for the next day before you go to bed. This will stop you overcommitting and get you excited about what the next day can bring.

                      4. Express More Gratitude

                      Gratitude and confidence are heavily linked. Just being thankful for what you have and what you’ve achieved increases confidence and makes you feel more optimistic.

                      It can help you improve your sense of wellbeing, which can bring on feelings of joy and enthusiasm.

                      Try starting a gratitude journal or just note down 3 things you’re grateful for every day.

                      5. Focus On Yourself

                      Exhaustion and fatigue can arrive by focusing solely on other people’s needs all the time, rather than worrying about and focusing on what you need (and want).

                      There are work commitments, family commitments, social commitments. You may start with the best intentions, to put in your best performance at work, to be an amazing parent and friend, to simply help others.

                      But sometimes, we extend ourselves too much and go beyond our personal limits to help others. That’s when constant exhaustion can creep up on us.  Which can make us more fatigued.

                      We all want to help and do our best for others, but there needs to be some balance. We also need to take some time out just for ourselves to recharge and rejuvenate.

                      6. Set Aside Rest and Recovery Time

                      Whether it’s a couple of hours, a day off, a mini-break or a proper holiday, time off is essential to help us recover, recharge and refocus.

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                      Recovery time helps fend off mental fatigue and allows us to simply kick back and relax.

                      The key here, though, is to remove ourselves from the daily challenges that bring on tiredness and fatigue. Here’s how.

                      Can you free yourself up completely from work and personal obligations to just rest and recover?

                      7. Take a Power Nap

                      When you’re feeling tired or fatigued and you have the ability to take a quick 20-minute nap, it could make a big difference to your performance for the rest of the day.

                      Napping can improve learning, memory and boost your energy levels quickly.

                      This article on the benefit of napping is a useful place to start if you want to learn more: How a 20-Minute Nap at Work Makes You Awake and Productive the Whole Day

                      8. Take More Exercise

                      The simple act of introducing some form of physical activity into your day can make a huge difference. It can boost energy levels, make you feel much better about yourself and can help you avoid fatigue.

                      Find something that fits into your life, be that walking, going to the gym, running or swimming. 

                      The key is to ensure the exercise is regular and that you are emotionally engaged and committed to stick with it.

                      You could also walk more which will help clear your head and shift your focus away from stressful thoughts.

                      9. Get More Quality Sleep

                      To avoid tiredness, exhaustion and fatigue, getting enough quality sleep matters. 

                      Your body needs sleep to recharge.  Getting the right amount of sleep every night can improve your health, reduce stress levels and help us improve our memory and learning skills.

                      My previous article on The Benefits of Sleep You Need to Know will give you some action steps to start improving your sleep. 

                      10. Improve Your Diet

                      Heavy or fatty meals can make you feel sluggish and tired, whilst some foods or eating strategies do just the opposite.

                      Our always on lives have us reaching for sweets or other sugary snacks to give us a burst of energy to keep going. Unfortunately, that boost fades quickly which can leave you feeling depleted and wanting more.

                      On the other hand, whole grains and healthy unsaturated fats supply the reserves you can draw on throughout the day.

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                      To keep energy up and steady, it’s a good idea to limit refined sugar and starches.

                      Eating small meals and healthy snacks every few hours throughout the day provides a steady supply of nutrients to body and brain. It’s also important not to skip breakfast.

                      Eating a balanced diet helps keep your blood sugar in a normal range and prevents that sluggish feeling when your blood sugar drops.

                      11. Manage Your Stress Levels

                      Stress is one of the leading causes of exhaustion and fatigue, and can seriously affect your health.

                      When you have increased levels of stress at work and at home, it’s easy to feel exhausted all the time. 

                      Identifying the causes of stress and then tackling the problems should be a priority. 

                      My article on How to Help Anxiety When Life is Stressing You Out shares 16 strategies you can use to overcome stress.

                      12. Get Hydrated

                      Sometimes we can be so busy that we forget to keep ourselves fully hydrated.

                      Water makes up about 60 percent of your body weight and is essential in maintaining our body’s basic functions.

                      If we don’t have enough water, it can adversely affect our mental and physical performance, which leads to tiredness and fatigue.

                      The recommended daily amount is around two litres a day, so to stay well hydrated keep a water bottle with you as much as possible.

                      The Bottom Line

                      These 12 tips can help you reduce your tiredness and feeling of fatigue.  Some will work better than others as we are all different, whilst others can be incorporated together in your daily life.

                      If you’ve tried to make positive changes to reduce fatigue and you still feel tired and exhausted, it may be time to consider making an appointment with your doctor to discuss your condition.

                      Featured photo credit: Annie Spratt via unsplash.com

                      Reference

                      [1]Oxford English Dictionary: Definition of fatigue
                      [2]NHS Choices: 10 Reasons for feeling tired
                      [3]Verywellhealth: What is chronic fatigue syndrome
                      [4]Everyday Health: Why does type 2 diabetes make you feel tired
                      [5]Mayo Clinic: Sleep apnea
                      [6]Harvard Health: The lowdown on thyroid slowdown

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