1 Jun: The Quintessential Whisky Drinker

An entry in the Exchequer Rolls of Scotland on 1st June, 1495, records that Friar John Cor was given charge of eight bolls of malt, ‘wherewith to make aqua vitae’. This has led many people to believe that his patron, King James IV, was the first big consumer of what we now know as whisky.

But the drink may not have been ordered for recreational purposes. It *might* have been intended for use in the production of gunpowder. Or… it may have been to help develop ‘the quintessence’, the life elixir being developed by the King’s alchemist, John Damian, promising to confer immortality to the King.

In this episode, Arion, Rebecca and OIly revisit Damian’s other mission – to be the first man to achieve winged flight; trace back the history of whisky for medicinal purposes; and reveal the ingredients of ‘a Renaissance-era Long Island Iced Tea’… 

Further Reading:

• ‘Famous whisky drinkers: King James IV’ (Scotch Whisky): https://scotchwhisky.com/magazine/famous-whisky-drinkers/13189/king-james-iv/

• ‘The aqua vitae era’ (Whisky Magazine): https://whiskymag.com/story/the-aqua-vitae-era

• ‘The Real Reason Whiskey Is Healthier Than Any Other Drink’ (Mashed, 2019):

We’re off for a couple of days after this (it’s a public holiday in Britain), so no new episodes tomorrow/Friday.