Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A beverage typically made of fermented honey and water; mead.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A spiced mead, originally from Wales.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A fermented beverage made of honey and water; mead.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Mead.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. spiced or medicated mead

Etymologies

Welsh meddyglyn : meddyg, medicinal (from Latin medicus, from medērī, to heal; see med- in Indo-European roots) + llyn, liquor.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Welsh meddyglyn, from meddyg ("medicinal") (from Latin medicus) + llyn ("liquor") (cognate with Irish lionn and Gaelic leann). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Peaches abounded; and a drink called metheglin, made of their juice mixed with whiskey and sweetened water, the thirsty traveller thought a rival to mint julep.

    A Dream of Empire Or, The House of Blennerhassett

  • England, and a delicate sort of drink in Wales, called metheglin; but there was a kind of "swish-swash" made in Essex from honey-combs and water, called mead, which differed from the metheglin as chalk from cheese.

    For Whom Shakespeare Wrote

  • A spiced variety called metheglin is another strain, and there's the national drink of Ethiopia - Tej - a honey wine fermented with gesho, a tree root found there.

    NYT > Home Page

  • After the success I had with the prickly pear mead and the holiday spice metheglin from a few years back, I really thought I had it down with this meadmaking stuff.

    Jayme Lynn Blaschke's Gibberish

  • I also popped open a bottle of my very-limited edition mint mead metheglin, which I bottled and put back in '07.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • When a meal consists of paratthas or nan and meat then mead (honey wine) or metheglin ale (a kind of wine-beer hybrid made from a mix of honey and hops) go really well as does perry (pear wine).

    Choosing and Pairing the Best Wine with your Food

  • Worlidge, in his “Vinetum Britannicum,” 1676, gives us receipts for metheglin and birch wine.

    Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine

  • He gives a receipt — the earliest I have seen in print — for making metheglin or hydromel.

    Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine

  • This informant describes metheglin as composed of wheat and honey (of course mixed with water), and the beer as being of sufficient strength to injure the nerves and cause head-ache.

    Old Cookery Books and Ancient Cuisine

  • And at this day barbarous people who want wine drink metheglin, allaying the sweetness of the honey by bitter roots, much of the taste of our wine.

    Essays and Miscellanies

Comments

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  • Cf. St. Augustine, De trin., book X, para. 2, "If then, for example, any one were to ask, What is metheglin (for I had instanced this word already), and it were said to him, What does this matter to you? He will answer, Lest perhaps I hear some one speaking, and understand him not; or perhaps read the word somewhere, and know not what the writer meant. Who, pray, would say to such an inquirer, Do not care about understanding what you hear; do not care about knowing what you read? For almost every rational soul quickly discerns the beauty of that knowledge, through which the thoughts of men are mutually made known by the enunciation of significant words; and it is on account of this fitness thus known, and because known therefore loved, that such an unknown word is studiously sought out. When then he hears and learns that wine was called metheglin by our forefathers, but that the word is already quite obsolete in our present usage of language, he will think perhaps that he has still need of the word on account of this or that book of those forefathers. But if he holds these also to be superfluous, perhaps he does now come to think the word not worth remembering, since he sees it has nothing to do with that species of learning which he knows with the mind, and gazes upon, and so loves." Translation source: NewAdvent.org (http://j.mp/brxU7Q), which uses the Latin word temetum for metheglin.

    June 8, 2010

  • "The Mutiny Act of 1703 stipulated that soldiers should be billeted in 'inns, livery stables, ale houses, victualling houses, and all houses selling brandy, strong-waters, cyder or metheglin to be drunk on the premises, and in no other, and in no private houses whatsoever'."
    —Annabel Venning, Following the Drum: The Lives of Army Wives and Daughters Past and Present (London: Headline, 2005), 61

    May 5, 2010

  • A fermented liquor made of honeyed water, obtained by thoroughly washing the comb, when drained of the honey. in a high~class brew, the comb is sometimes washed in a little fresh beer to hasten the fermentation, but the strength of the liquor is dependent upon the quantity of honey it contains. Metheglin, when well made and refined and matured by age, is a cordial of no mean order~ a homely liqueur of potent quality.
    Georgina Jackson, Shropshire Word~Book, 1879

    February 4, 2009