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Oct 1_Lecture 4_Early Modern Period.docx

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HIST 3109
Roderick Phillips

HIST3109-Social History of Alcohol Lecture 4: Early Modern Period (1500-1600s) Distillation Start with fermented beverage to remove water and leave alcohol. Done by process of heating and collecting alcohol vapors  When heating wine, the first thing to reach boiling point in alcohol (78 or higher) need a catchment system to catch the vapor that is high in alcohol content  ‘rectofying’ alcohol again and again to continue to increase alcohol content th  Process made originally in middle east (around Pakistan) and made way to Europe in 12-13 C First distilled product was likely wine  Names in association to health properties or heat (aqua vitae, aqua ardens)  Now known as Brandy or Cognac (brandewyn=burnt wine) Distilled beer/grain have huge boost to distilling industry (Gin, Whiskey, Vodka)  Northern Europe; very popular because grains are what is available in the region (Russia, Skanndenavia, Germany) Spirits Strong association with health that continues today A lot of literature on subject were published around this time Charles II of Spain burnt alive when wrapped in sheets soaked in Brandy that caught fire Brandy seen as a remedy, ‘heals’ a lot of symptoms of aging…deafness, forgetfulness, greying, heart disease, melancholy. Good because it is warm and healthy, but problematic because it is high intoxicating Brandy became first substance to be heavily controlled Role of Dutch Many new alcohols being made available in 16-17C Dutch had a reputation of being hard business dealers and heavy drinkers  Biggest merchant fleet at the time  Very involved in shipping, as well as shipping 3 party goods/wine/spirits  Helped with development of key alcohol areas ▪ Charante becomes major producer of Brandy and Cognac (which is a Appellation, and better quality that Brandy)  Produced Gin (grained based sweetened with Juniper berries) See emergence of liquers which is distilled alcohol that has herbs and flavours added. Many produced my religious institutions for medicinal purposes. Consumption/Regulation Issue of controlling consumption of new alcohols (Esp. Brandy)  Needed for medical purposes and often prescribed by doctors  Though to be a general tonic (consumed in small quantities each day) Control started to slip in 1500s from medical professionals  Originally only monestaries distilled but in 1530s certain guilds were given permission Reformation weakened link between monestaries and distilling  Interesting that Reformation took hold , not in wine drinking societies, but instead in spirits drinking ones  Many monks who distilled before continued to distil after R but as secular/commercial Consumption appears to increase in 1500s  Increased expression of concern in heavy drinking (but this is difficult to interpret) Throughout Europe police tried to start restricting consumption, sale and produ
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