As defined by AMMA:(American Mead Makers Association)

Mead is a wine from other agricultural products or a malt beverage derived (1) from honey and water, OR (2) from a mixture of honey and water with hops, fruit, spices, grain, or other agricultural products or flavors allowed in the production in wine, in which honey represents the largest percentage of the starting fermentable sugars by weight of the finished product, and having the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to mead, and sold or offered for sale as mead.

“Mead, for purposes of the Federal Alcohol Administration Act, 27 U.S.C.
§ 201 et seq., is a wine from other agricultural products or a malt beverage derived (1) from honey and water, OR (2) from a mixture of honey and wa- ter with hops, fruit, spices, grain, or other agricultural products or avors,
in which honey represents a majority of the starting fermentable sugars by weight of the nished product, and having the taste, aroma, and character- istics generally attributed to mead, and sold or o ered for sale as mead, OR (3) from a mixture of honey and water with hops, fruit, spices, grain, or other agricultural products or avors, in which honey represents the largest per- centage of the starting fermentable sugars by weight of the nished product, and having the taste, aroma, and characteristics generally attributed to mead, and sold or o ered for sale as mead.”

Simply put, mead is a fermented beverage made primarily from honey. It is also known to be the oldest alcoholic beverage known to man predating both beer and traditional grape wine by THOUSANDS of years. In Asia, pottery vessels containing chemical signatures of a mixture of honey, rice and other fruits along with organic compounds of fermentation dating from 6500-7000 BC were found in Northern China. In Europe, it is first attested in residual samples found in ceramics from 2800-1800 BC.