Wednesday, September 25, 2013


...Intriguing legends trace liquor to ancient days...Who can actually say where the story of spirits begins? There are so many we can only offer a few of the fascinating and contradictory tales!

One fact emerges very clearly and that is that every civilization had it's liquor! 
An Egyptian carving depicts a distilling apparatus 
and it is known that Shahs from India sipped liquors made from flowers in 800BC. 
Aristotle mentions liquor, 
and legend has it that Alexander the Great passed the first loving a peace gesture between the Macedonions and the Persians. 
And of course the Aztecs were said to have greeted Cortez with offerings of liquor...(I thought it was cacoa???)
George Washington was one of Americas first distillers of Spirits. The colonist were said to be a hardy drinking lot, consuming many "lusty" almost unbelievable concoctions.  It is because this early liquor was anything but palatable, they created many ingenious mixtures to diguise its raw taste and bite.

In a burst of Patriotism, barmaid Betsy Flannigan once served George Washingtons officers a special drink made from
fruit juice
and decorated with the tail feathers of a neighbors plump rooster.
When served to a French soldier; inspired he declared a toast, "Vive Le Coqs tail" thus a legend began.
(NewOrleans version, a waterfront apothecary served liquor in coquetiers)

the word whiskey evolved from Celtic origins: "usque or uisge" The Scotts called it "Uisgebah" Either way the term means "Water of Life"

Excherquer Rolls of 1494 list: 'eight balls of malt to Friar John Cor, wherewith to make "aquavit" the first reference and earliest mention of Scotch. Early brews were so fearsome only Scotsmen could drink them.

As American as Mount Vernon, where by the way George Washington was one of the first developers of this grains greatest potential....whiskey!

A 17th century professor at Holland Leyland University, experimenting with distilling is creditied for discovering "genivere" French for "juniper" a berry which gives gin its flavor.

Originally 'rhum" a byproduct of sugar manufacturing. Probably the first liquor distilled in the United States and was often called "Kill Devil".

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