Hairdressers distil in Scotland

A monopoly in distilling spirits in Edinburgh is granted to the newly established Guild of Surgeons and Barbers.  During early 16th century, barbers were more commonly associated with modern day GP’s, in addition to the more common practice of the “short back and sides”. The name barber derives from a Richard le Barber who was […]

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The printed word brings distillation to the masses

Johannes Gensfleisch zur Laden zum Gutenberg, or simply Johannes Gutenberg, creates his ground breaking Gutenberg Press. This device incorporates a system of movable type faces, enabling mass-production of printed matter and opening the world to a new era of knowledge sharing.  This machine directly influences the spread of the emerging industry of commercial distillation. An […]

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Medieval sentencing for drunkenness

Implemented in 1349 by the late Tsar Stefan Dušan, The Dušans Code (or Dušanov Zakonik) stated – amongst church decrees, Imperial Greek edicts and common juridical law – that, “If a drunk goes from somewhere and if provokes or cuts one, or bleeds [sic] one, and doesn’t kill, to that drunk shall an eye been […]

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Largest ever punch party

Admiral Edward Russell was an impressively ill-tempered English Navy commander in charge of the Mediterranean fleet. In 1694, upon return from duty in the Mediterranean, Russell was requested by Admiralty not to return to England for rest and provision but instead to put in to the Spanish port of Cadiz to winter the remainder of […]

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The origins of “Elixir”

Abū-Yūsuf Ya‘qūb ibn Isḥāq ibn as-Ṣabbāḥ ibn ‘Omrān ibn Isma‘īl al-Kindī – thankfully more simply known as Al-Kindi or Alkindus in Latin – is regarded as the first person to create a potable liquid through the distilling of a wine and thereby created an early brandy. Alkindus labeled this unique liquid as an al’iksir meaning […]

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Invention of the pot still

Abu Musa Jābir ibn Hayyān – known simply as Gerber or Al-Jabir by the scholarly Latin communities – is acknowledged as being the first documented to design and implement the common “pot still” circa 790 AD.  Today the pot still remains an essential tool for producing premium spirits and other chemical compounds. While there is little […]

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The legend of Iron Mike Malloy and the Murder Trust

Michael Malloy was an Irish immigrant living in America with an all together too trusting faith in his fellow man.  Better remembered as “Mike the Durable” or “Iron Mike”, Malloy was neither gifted from the tree of wisdom nor even it seems the shrub of common sense, but for whatever shortfalls Malloy may have had […]

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