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origins of your favorite spirits

The Origins of Your Favorite Spirits

What are the origins of your favorite spirits? Vodka, whiskey, gin, rum, tequila, and brandy make up some of the most popular spirits ever created. These spirits have been celebrated globally and but not everyone knows exactly where they originated. We’ve compiled the most fascinating history linked to the beginnings of these alcohols for spirit enthusiasts everywhere.


Where Did Vodka From?

Russians right? Well, it’s actually not that clear. Because there is a lack of historical evidence, scholars continue to argue the origins of this popular spirit. It is believed by many that Vodka was created in Poland during the Middle Ages. Others say that Vodka’s origins can be traced as far back as the late 14th century. Unfortunately, we may never know.


What’s the Origin of Whiskey?

Scotland takes honors with this beloved spirit which dates back to as early as the late 1400s. ‘Whiskey’ evolved from the Gaelic term ‘usquebaugh’ or ‘uisge breatha’ which translates to ‘water of life’. Some have disputed that the Irish created whisky, but the Irish Whiskey Museum may be a bit biased… just sayin’.


Who Invented Gin?

Evolving from herbal medicine as early as the Middle Ages, gin’s earliest known reference dates back to the 13th century when the Dutch invented “jenever.” Gin would derive from jenever and become an incredibly popular spirit. Fransicus Sylvius, a Dutch physician, has been widely credited as the inventor of gin but that has been proven to be false


Who Invented Rum?

According to traditional storytellers, the first-ever rum was created in the eastern Carribean island of Barbados. Documentation of rum’s beginnings date back to 1651 on the island and the spirit’s popularity quickly reached American during its colonial era. In 1664, the first American rum distillery was established in Staten Island.


What’s the Origin of Tequila?


Before the lower half of North America succumbed to Spanish conquest, the indigenous empire of the Aztecs began to distill the first forms of tequila around 250-300 A.D. The natives began this process by fermenting the agave plants which produced ceremonial alcohol then known as pulque.


Who Created Brandy?

Dating back to the early 16th century, a trader of Dutch descent created an ingenious way of shipping large loads of wine through small cargo spaces: Dehydrating the wine. This allowed its concentrated form to be shipped to Holland in more efficiently where the wine could then be rehydrated. The dehydrated version of this win was called “bradwijn” which mean “burned wine.” That name would eventually become “brandy.”


Now that you know the origins of your favorite spirits, browse through the 2019 SIP Awards winners and enjoy some quality spirits!

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