SPIRITS & LIQUOR
– 5 Stars, Faustino Ricioppo – Google Local Guide
Distilling spirits is woven into the fabric of human history. We grew up with alcoholic beverages way early on. Evidence of alcoholic beverages date back to around 7000 BC in China, later making its way to Persia, Egypt, Babylon and the rest of the world. It has been used for medical purposes, religious practices, celebrations, even to aid us in battles! Booze has been there with us every step of the way. These days we have so many styles of spirits such as Cognac, Armagnac, Gin, and Tequila to name a few. On top of the many different styles, there are subcategories depending on the distillation and Master Crafter practices.
The birth of Cognac was conceived through the exportation of wine. Dutch settlers came to Cognac to purchase supplies including wine. For it to survive the long trip back they started distilling the wine into eau-de-vie which just like Whiskey but in French means “water of life.” Later distilling it a second time creating the legendary brandy.
Armagnac is another big name that is talked about in the brandy world. The prestigious spirit can be part of a highly regarded collection or seen at the trendy new brandy bars. Just like Cognac, this brandy is regional, so it must come from Armagnac. There are many ways to enjoy this beverage, but I would highly recommend it neat at the end of a long day.
Its said that during the Spanish invasion, the Spaniards couldn’t be without their beloved brandy. They improvised with a mud and agave mixture that is called mezcal. Which become so popular that in the 1600’s the first Tequila distillery was opened. However just like Champagne, Tequilas is an appellation, so you can note that all tequilas are mezcals but not all mezcals are tequilas!
In the 17th century Holland was the first to produce the beverage that we know to today as Gin. However, it was a medicine and sold in chemist shops to treat stomach issues like, gout and gallstones. To make the medicine taste better the Dutch flavoured it with juniper, which had medicinal properties of its own. So, since its 17th century doctor recommended, it must be good!