Mead is an alcoholic beverage created by fermenting honey with water, sometimes with various fruits, spices, grains, or hops. The alcoholic content ranges from about 3.5% ABV to more than 18%. The defining characteristic of mead is that the majority of the beverage's fermentable sugar is derived from honey. It may be still, carbonated, or naturally sparkling; dry, semi-sweet, or sweet.
Mead was produced in ancient times throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, and has played an important role in the mythology of some peoples. In Norse mythology, for example, the Mead of Poetry was crafted from the blood of the wise-being Kvasir and turned the drinker into a poet or scholar.
The term honey wine is sometimes used as a synonym for mead, although wine is typically defined to be the product of fermented berries or certain other fruits, and some cultures have honey wines that are distinct from mead.