Friday, October 08, 2010

Some Interesting Facts about Spirits

"Spirits played a role in the enslavement and displacement of millions of people, the establishment of new nations, and the subjugation of indigenous cultures." - p. 129, A History of the World in Six Glasses
From A History of the World in Six Glasses:
  1. The modern form of distillation began in the Arab world around 970 AD and was routinely applied to wine at this time.
  2. For many centuries, distilled wine was called 'aqua vitae" (water of life) because it was thought to preserve youth, improve memory, cure blindness, and treat diseases.
  3. With the invention of the printing press during the 1430s, distilled drinks became more of a recreational drink.
  4. The sugar production and trade during the fifteenth and sixteenth century, unfortunately using millions of slaves, was highly influenced by the demand for spirits such as brandy and rum.
  5. Since rum results from the waste product of sugar production, molasses, it has to be made in coastal towns.
  6. In the second half of the seventeenth century, rum was becoming the colonists' new favorite drink and it soon became the most profitable manufactured item in New England.
  7. Whiskey was the drink of the American settlers moving westward, since it was made from cereal grains, and quickly became associated with independence and the American pioneer spirit.
In a series
1. Beer
2. Wine
3. Spirits
4. Coffee
5. Tea
6. Coke

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