TLW's Liquorscope™ (Liquor Historyscope)
By T.L. Winslow (TLW), the Historyscoper™
© Copyright by T.L. Winslow. All Rights Reserved.
Original Pub. Date: July 30, 2016. Last Update: May 5, 2017.
Westerners are not only known as history ignoramuses, but double dumbass history ignoramuses when it comes to liquor history. Since I'm the one-and-only Historyscoper (tm), let me quickly bring you up to speed before you dive into my Master Historyscope.
About 1300 Spanish alchemist and papal physician Arnau (Arnaud) (Arnaldus) de Villanova (Villanueva) (1238-1311) invents Brandy (Brandywine) (AKA Fire Wine) by distilling wine; enterprising copycat Irish monks soon invent Usquebaugh (Uisgebeatha) (Whiskey) (Gael. "water of life") by distilling fermenting grain - when does the party start?
In 1386 the Genovese Embassy introduces aqua vitae (water of life) to the Moscow Grand Duchy, acquainting them with the "pernicious drink" (good antifreeze for the blood?) Vodka - so the Italians did to the Russkies what the Euros did to the American Indians?
In 1429 Vodka is brought to Moscow by foreign visitors, who tout it as a panacea; in 1430 a monk named Isidor of the Chudov Monastery makes the first Russian vodka recipe, which becomes a monopoly of the grand duchy of Moscow.
In 1494 the first mention of malted barley whiskey production in Scotland.
In 1525 Amaretto (It. "a little bitter"), made of apricot kernels and brandy is invented by a young widowed innkeeper, who presents it to Leonardo da Vinci's pupil Bernardino Luini (1475-1532), who is painting frescoes for the church at Saronno.
In 1533 the first Tsar's kabak is opened in Moscow, serving vodka and other liquors, becoming known as Russia's taverns.
On Feb. 13, 1565 Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi (1502-72) and his navigator (Augustinian friar) Andres de Urdaneta (1498-1568) arrive from Acapulco, New Spain (Mexico) in the Philippines and found Manila on Manila Bay in the South China Sea (modern pop. 4.5M/1.5M); in July they discover a good route back to Acapulco, which becomes known as Urdaneta's Route, and Legazpi returns as royal gov. of the Philippines to establish the "China route" through the "Spice Islands"; Augustinian friars follow and become a force in the islands, later joined by other orders, incl. Franciscans, Jesuits, Dominicans, and Recollects; tequila (distilled agave nectar) begins to be exported from Mexico via the Camino Real through the Sierra Madre Mts.; galleons are built in Barra de Navidad for the route from Veracruz to Spain.
In 1608 Bushmills Distillery in Bushmills, County Antrim, Northern Ireland is licensed by a landowner, after which a co. builds a commercial distillery in 1784, becoming the world's oldest licensed whiskey distillery.
The original Supersize Me? On Aug. 4, 1693 blind French Benedictine monk Dom Pierre Perignon (1639-1715) invents Champagne, which is later sold in supersized bottles called Magnum (2x), Jeroboam (4x), Rehoboam (6x), Methuselah (8x), Salmanazar (12x), Balthazar (16x), and Nebuchadnezzar (20x) (My Judy Really Makes Splendid Belching Noises); actually, he didn't invent sparkling wine, just taught blending skills and figured out how to bottle the stuff in reinforced glass bottles sealed with Spanish corks?
In 1737 yellow-green 142 proof Chartreuse Elixir is first distilled from 130 plants by the cloistered Carthusian monks in Chartreuse, France (founded 1084) from an ancient ms. given to them in 1605; for beverage use, 110 proof Green Chartreuse is also sold.
On Jan. 1, 1817 Simon Bolivar lands in Barcelona, Venezuela (Orinoco region) with a small force of refugee insurgents from Haiti in an attempt to liberate it from Spain, promising to free the slaves and give confiscated properties to his victorious troops, and on Feb. 16 he scores a quick V against a Spanish royalist army at the Battle of Barcelona, establishes a rev. govt. at Angostura (founded 1764) (renamed Ciudad Bolivar in 1846), then wins a number of military Vs during the year; in 1824 Angostura Bitters are first made by pro-Bolivar German-born military surgeon Johann Gottlieb Benjamin Siegert (1796-1870) to help his patients.
In 1823 the English Parliament passes the 1823 Excise Act, making commercial distillation of whiskey more profitable and imposing punishments on landowners when unlicensed distilleries are found on their lands; in 1824 former moonshiner George Smith (1792-1871) becomes the first person to obtain a distillery license under the new law, founding Glenlivet Distillery in Moray, Scotland, "The single malt that started it all", offering 12 to 25-y.-o. varieties, becoming the 2nd best-selling brand on Earth and the best-selling brand in the U.S., producing 6M bottles/year; in 1977 it is acquired by Seagram; in 2000 French co. Pernod Ricard acquires it.
In 1866 Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel (1849-1911) establishes a whiskey distillery in dry Lynchburg, Tenn. and perfects his Kentucky bourbon formula.
In 1875 the wondrous 80-proof orange-flavored triple sec liqueur Cointreau is introduced by brothers Adolphe Cointreau and Edouard-Jean Cointreau in Angers, France.
In 1894 Dmitry Mendeleev of Russia discovers that vodka is best when formulated to exactly 80 proof (40% alcohol), becoming the std. for modern vodka.
In 1965 Tequila, the nat. drink of Mexico (named after the town of Tequila, Jalisco) begins rising in popularity in the U.S., climbing 1,500% in the next decade.
In 1972 bartender Robert "Rosebud" Butt of the Oak Beach Inn in Babylon, Long Island, N.Y. allegedly invents Long Island Iced Tea, made with equal parts of vodka, gin, tequila, rum, and triple sec, along with sour or sweet-sour mix and a splash of cola or iced tea.