When I look at some of the resources out there, I get a bit pissed off.
There are few standards when it comes to meads. The only "official" ones I can think of, are the ones published by the Polish Government, issued to cover the ones that are made there to a specific type and relate to the ratio of honey and water used. A lot of the Polish ones, would appear to be quite sweet. I don't know for certain....
What I find myself getting impatient with, are people who either try to use very unusual ingredients and/or try making some for the wrong reasons.
Now it's fact that while there's very ancient documentation out there, that mentions meads being drunk at certain places/times and for various reasons, there's not actually very much detail on how they were made. The relatively few recipes/ingredient lists available don't really help. So I for one, am quite greatful to the scientific side of modern wine making in helping to provide both materials and method to be able to get a honey must fermented.
That doesn't mean that I agree with the use of some of the more modern ingredients. For example, coffee. The fucking Saxons and Vikings didn't have coffee, plus those who think it might be a good ingredient are obviously idiots, because I suspect they're thinking of something that has coffee, which has been sweetened with honey, but also has some alcohol in it. Almost something like a "Mia Maria" type liqueur. Yet they forget, that sort of drink is probably "manufactured", rather than fermented like that.
The same applies to many other ingredients.
If you take for example, the locations where the honey wine type drink, known commonly as mead comes from, central and northern Europe, including Scandinavia, then that actually limits the ingredients to honey, some fruit and a few herbs (not spices). Yet when you have a dig round the online resources, so many people, wrongly, think of meads as being spiced. Lets face it, even mulled wines that use spices of any kind, aren't more than 200 to 300 years old. We didn't have the spices then, well certainly not in any quantity that made them affordable enough to use in brewing and wine making.
Also, it doesn't help when you get some of the good people of the US, who like to learn/know about the cultures of some of their long gone "family roots", only to mix them up with the fantasy that emanates from fucking Hollywood. Those wankers are responsible for some of the biggest historical travesties out there. The most glaring of bollocks like this is the "viking helmet with horns". It might have been something from either Hollywood or possibly some victorian era romantic novel shit, or by that other "arch-bullshitter in chief" Sir Walter Scott.
It's fucking idiots like these who're responsible for all sorts of bollocks (tartan, a.k.a. plaid, isn't that historical, it was mainly an invention of regency and victorian weavers and made popular by those period British monarchs).
Anyway, yes, so the use of most ingredients in "modern" meads is either just wrong/incorrect/historically inaccurate or the result of something being needed to act in a certain way, to be able to make the honey must ferment.
If that pisses off half of America, then so be it. Weirdomels are just that, weird. Large slices of European history are completely fabricated, by people who have something to sell, something that sells better if it's got some historical connection and a large array of "mug punters" with too much money to sell "it" too....
Ok, yes. I'll get off my soap box.