England

England played essential roles in the development of several beverages. The isle contributed to spread of drinks like wine, tea, and rum, and innovated in the development of others such as beer and gin.

Beer: The culture of the tiny, island nation is intertwined with beer and pub culture. Public houses have long been much more than mere housing for pint glasses and hand pulled casks. For centuries, these institutions have been informal hubs of community news and formal polling stations for elections. As for the beers themselves, the English lay claim to classics such as the IPA, Special Bitters, Porters, and Pale Ales.

Wine: England’s first vineyards can be traced to the Romans, but the nation has never really latched onto viticulture. Today, they boast about 450 vineyards. One can deduce that these endeavors are mainly the work of passionate enthusiasts as Blightly imparts over 99% of their bottles. However, the Brits are drinkers of the juice, annually consuming an average of 21.3 liters of wine per capita. John Bull is responsible for several advances in the field oenology, pioneering early wine writing, building much of the French export business, and then popularizing Spanish and Portuguese products like Sherry and Madeira when relations with the French hit rough patches.

Spirits: The English have been known to enjoy several different hard liquors, but historically, the nation and their great naval fleets are synonymous with two specific spirits: gin and rum.

Rum is actually not made in England, but on their former West Indian colonies such as  Jamaica, Barbados, the Bahamas, Antigua & Barbuda, and Trinidad & Tobago. The spirit spread as a result of the commercial fleet’s notorious molasses trade as well as the Royal Navy’s exploits. Following the 1655 British invasion of Jamaica, sailors in the Crown’s employ were rationed a “tot” (about 70ml) of rum daily at midday. Inlater years, a straight tot was replaced with grog which included additives such as lime juice to fight scurvy. Over the years, the serving size was constantly reduced until the practice was abolished (for obvious reasons) in 1970.

 

 

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