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Re: aque vitae?

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  • MHoll@xxx.xxx
    In a message dated 11/1/1999 5:35:56 PM Central Standard Time, ... I am sure he referred to vodka or something similar. Although Mark/Yvan mentioned that Aqua
    Message 1 of 8 , Nov 2, 1999
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      In a message dated 11/1/1999 5:35:56 PM Central Standard Time,
      timbo@... writes:

      > I always wondered exactly what kind of beverage Giles Fletcher was
      > alluding too in "Rude and Barbarous Kingdom" when he talked of "Aque
      > Vitae".

      I am sure he referred to vodka or something similar. Although Mark/Yvan
      mentioned that Aqua Vitae is the same as whiskey, it is not *only* whiskey,
      but rather any distilled spirit. In French "eau de vie" ("water of life" =
      "aqua vitae") is a clear spirit. Don't know the taste, but from descriptions
      I surmise it a vodka-type spirit.

      I have heard that "aqua vitae" got its name because it was an ingredient in
      medicines prepared by monks: it cured illnesses, therefore it brought life...
      No guarantees here.

      As for vodka in period, those who read the book _Bread and Salt_ have noted
      that it did indeed make it appearance in Russia within our period, but it was
      relatively slow to spread.

      I can't remember the date of Fletcher's account -- what year(s) was he in
      Russia?

      Predslava,
      still very happy with her pre-Mongol persona. Masha definitely does not like
      Muscovite Russia.
    • MHoll@xxx.xxx
      In a message dated 11/2/1999 10:59:23 PM Central Standard Time, ... Not distilling the stuff, no, although my aunt (may she rest in peace) did bring some 140
      Message 2 of 8 , Nov 2, 1999
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        In a message dated 11/2/1999 10:59:23 PM Central Standard Time,
        timbo@... writes:

        > Got any ideas on how its made?
        Not distilling the stuff, no, although my aunt (may she rest in peace) did
        bring some 140 proof stuff my father and brothers said was "very good" (I
        wouldn't know). I know she used sugar, but that's all.

        That wasn't very useful, but I'll remember her bottle of homemade vodka
        forever.

        As for not distilling, you can dilute 180 proof alcohol in equal parts with
        water, add some lemon peel, a couple drops of glycerine, let stand a while
        opened, then close, put in refrigerator, and let stand until it acquires the
        lemony flavor.

        To make "pertsovka", you can soak some cayenne pepper in a little vodka for
        about a month, add about a shot of it to a bottle of plain regular vodka, let
        stand for the flavor to blend in, and it's done.

        Now I've never tasted any of the above (and never will: my vodka consumption
        is limited to the very occasional cocktail), but my brothers and father say
        it's good.

        No guarantees.

        Predslava
      • Jenne Heise
        ... From what people have said, it seems that hot distillation was used, if by that you mean distilling over a flame. Double, triple or quadruple
        Message 3 of 8 , Nov 3, 1999
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          On Wed, 3 Nov 1999 timbo@... wrote:
          >> aqua vitae was a term used to describe distilled spirits,
          >> either from wine or beer.
          > Would that have been cold distilling th ewine to make brandy or
          > double brewing the beer to make it stronger, then? I have some
          > friends who are in B&V so I know a few concepts and terms but only
          > enough to not be totally lost. Care to elaborate for the hopelessly
          > ignorant, Jadwiga?

          From what people have said, it seems that 'hot' distillation was used, if
          by that you mean distilling over a flame.
          Double, triple or quadruple distillation (running the product through
          multiple times) appears to have been standard for that called aqua vitae.
          They usually say that either beer or wine is the beverage one starts with,
          and don't seem to make a distinction in the same way moderns describe
          distillations of wine as brandy and distillations of grain products as
          whiskey, etc.
          Does that help?

          Jadwiga Zajaczkowa, mka Jennifer Heise jenne@...
          disclaimer: i speak for no-one and no-one speaks for me...

          "But the world is cold. For me, the warm places are few and far between."
          -- Charles DeLint, _Someplace to Be Flying_
        • timbo@xxxxxx.xxx
          aqua vitae was a term used to describe distilled spirits, either from wine or beer. Would that have been cold distilling th ewine to make brandy or double
          Message 4 of 8 , Nov 3, 1999
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            aqua vitae was a term used to describe distilled spirits,
            either from wine or beer.

            Would that have been cold distilling th ewine to make brandy or
            double brewing the beer to make it stronger, then? I have some
            friends who are in B&V so I know a few concepts and terms but only
            enough to not be totally lost. Care to elaborate for the hopelessly
            ignorant, Jadwiga?
            'dak
          • timbo@xxxxxx.xxx
            Fletcher was very late, circa 1589. I had been thinking about attempting to cold distill some commercial wine as an experiment or even attempting to make
            Message 5 of 8 , Nov 3, 1999
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              Fletcher was very late, circa 1589. I had been thinking about
              attempting to cold distill some commercial wine as an experiment or
              even attempting to make vodka. Got any ideas on how its made?
              'dak
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