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Drinking & Culture

The history, myths and legends about the origins of alcohol making are fascinating. Cultures from around the world have stories to tell that go back when their people engaged first in distilling, brewing and wine making. Worldwide there are captivating rituals and traditions that tie into local cultures and production methods.

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Versailles Treaty & German Cognac

Versailles Treaty & German Cognac

 In 1896 the German distiller Hugo Asbach (1868-1935) took over the "Rhenish Cognac" company in Rüdesheim, Germany. Asbach continued the tradition calling wine brandy produced in Germany "Cognac" despite not being distilled in the geographical area of Cognac, France....

The Salzburger’s Brandy

The Salzburger’s Brandy

In 1734 Salzburger Emigrants, a group of German-speaking Protestant refugees from the Catholic Archbishopric of Salzburg, sailed from England to Charleston, South Carolina, and thereafter to  Savannah, Georgia. Johann Martin Boltzius, the religious leader of the...

Georgia’s Brandy from Corn Stalks

Georgia’s Brandy from Corn Stalks

In 1734 the protestant Salzburgers escaped religious persecution of their home country (Germany/Austria) by settling in the newly established Colony of Georgia (est. 1732). It appears that the Salzburger Emigrants may have distilled brandy since their arrival in the...

Amrita

Amrita

Amrita is a life-prolonging potion of the gods described in the ancient Indian Vedas. Other known names for Amrita are Soma or Madhu. In addition the term Amrita is also used in the actual sense of the word for immortality. In Hindu mythology, Amrita is described as...

Tarascoe Mezcal

Tarascoe Mezcal

In 1891 anthropologist John G. Bourke visited the Tarascoe people at Lake Patzcuaro in Mexico. He traveled to the see the famous coffee plantations of Uruapan, and to visit the ruins of a Franciscan School build in 1581 by Spanish conquerers. On his travel to...

Dutch Courage

Dutch Courage

The term "Dutch Courage" is used to describe courage that is gained from drinking alcohol. Franciscus Sylvius de Bouve (1614–1672), a Dutch chemist and alchemist, is often named as the "father of Genever". Modern research though suggests that Genever (alt. Jenever,...

Great Heidelberger Tun

Great Heidelberger Tun

The battle for the largest wooden barrel waged over the centuries between Germany's Electors in a costly power struggle. In 1591, Johann Casimir commissioned the first of four "large barrels" for Heidelberg Castle. Followed by the Karl Ludwig barrel of 1664, the Karl...

Haro Wine Festival

Haro Wine Festival

Batalla de Vino is one of the most famous festivals in Spain. It's a wine battle in Haro where Rioja red wine is used as ammunition. It takes place every year on June 29th, Saint Peter's Day, in the heart of the Rioja wine region. This tradition probably goes back to...

Nick & Nora Cocktail

Nick & Nora Cocktail

In 1934, Nick & Nora brought Cocktail Drinking to the big screen and made it famous. The drinking glamour couple Nick Charles (played by William Powell) and his rich wife Nora (Myrna Loy) solve murder cases in the refreshingly frivolous, fast-paced series of US...

Mystery Drink Shedeh

Mystery Drink Shedeh

Shedeh is a mysterious ancient Egyptian drink whose contents remained unknown for many centuries. Scholars around the world argued if it was a wine made from pomegranates or maybe a grape wine? The production of Shedeh was described only once in an Egyptian text...

Livingston’s Distillery

Livingston’s Distillery

Philip Livingston (1716–1778) is mostly known for signing the Declaration of Independence in 1776. The Livingston family were so called “patroons” owning huge colonial land parcels of almost 250 square miles before the Revolutionary War. Philip Livingston was a...

The Pen-Tailed Treeshrew

The Pen-Tailed Treeshrew

Pen-tailed treeshrews are the only nocturnal species of shrews. They live in forests on the Malay Peninsula, Sumatra and parts of Borneo as well as some smaller offshore islands. Pen-tailed treeshrews are excellent climbers. During the day they rest curled up in...

The Jahrtausendwein 1540

The Jahrtausendwein 1540

The "Jahrtausendwein" is a "once-in-a-millennium" vintage wine, a very valuable Riesling wine from the Würzburger Stein vineyard, Würzburg, Germany of 1540. The year of 1540 is mostly known for its desastrous drought in Central Europe. The drought was an extreme...

The Schwedenfass

The Schwedenfass

The so-called Swedish barrel, the "Schwedenfass", is a wine barrel in the State Court Cellar in Würzburg, which is located below the Würzburg Residence. The "Schwedenfass"  was created to host the  famous "Jahrtausendwein", the priceless "once-in-a-millennium wine" ...

The First Golden Straw

The First Golden Straw

The Maykop (Maikop; Majkop) culture was an Early Bronze Age culture in the region of southern Russia and the north-western Caucasus between 4000 - 3200 BC. The eponymous site is the town of Maykop, Russia, where a large kurgan (mound) was excavated in late 19th...

The Drinker’s Dictionary

The Drinker’s Dictionary

In the 18th century distilled spirits were widely available and affordable for all classes for the first time in history. This had caused drinking habits to change from former predominantly beer and wine consumption to including distilled spirits. The intoxicating...

The Thicket

The Thicket

The Thicket Rum Distillery was build in 1816 by William Carnochan, a Scottish immigrant from Savannah. The name “the Thicket” derived from the vegetation of myrtle and other short growing bushes on the 400 acre Colonial Plantation that was located close to Darien,...

All Nations Welcome Except Carrie

All Nations Welcome Except Carrie

Carrie Amelia Nation (1846 -1911) was an American activist mainly in Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. She was a radical member of the US temperance movement, and organized the local branch of the Woman's Christian Temperance Union (WCTU) in Kansas. She...

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