Until recent times, mead — an ancient honey-based alcoholic drink — was safe to drink compared with water.
It was also believed to have healing powers and fertility influences — which result in the origin of the term 'honeymoon'.
Historians are unsure when and where mead was first produced, but it could date back thousands of years before wine or beer. It remained prevalent where it was difficult to grow grapes.
In Scotland, it was probably most widely drunk by the well-to-do in the south.
Today mead is seeing a revival in popularity and is being produced by go-ahead brewers in the wake of the craft beer movement.
Mead can be enjoyed as a refreshing drink or as an accompaniment to cheese or meat.
Anonymous medical, culinary and household recipe book, 17th century. [Library reference: Adv.MS.23.6.5]