Often when sipping on a refreshing beverage we tend to forget the long and complicated history involved in the creation and popularity of these drinks. We’ve asked three drinks connoisseurs to tell us more about drinks that interest them.
“The Radler was invented in the twenties by Bavarian, Franz Xaver Kugler. When, after World War I, bicycle riding became a popular pastime in Germany, Kugler arranged for a bike trail from Munich straight to his establishment. On a fine Saturday in June 1922, some 13,000 cyclists descended upon the Kugleralm and demanded beer. With a shortage of beer, the quick-thinking innkeeper had a bright idea to save the day. He had several thousand bottles of lemon soda in his cellar, virtually unsellable to his beer-loving Bavarian public. Kugler mixed this lemon soda with his remaining beer at a 50/50 ratio. He called the mixture a Radlermass – Radler meaning cyclist in German and Mass a litre of beer.”
“Gin was, in fact, English and not Dutch as most think. Genever, a malted spirit that is essentially light whisky with juniper is a distillate of the Netherlands. Gin was developed in London and is a unique and much purer spirit. Although the gin craze is seriously on the up at the moment, it is definitely not a new drink. Gin has been around since about 1689. In the mid-eighteenth century, gin was used as an inexpensive medicine for gout and indigestion.”
“Years ago several grape farmers planted Chenin Blanc for the purpose of making brandy, because of this Chenin Blanc Old Vine is fairly easy to come by. Thanks to winemakers such as Eben Sadie with his 2009 Old Vine Series, many people are realising that wine made from older vineyards is quite exquisite. Most old vine winemakers take a hands-off approach, making sure not to add any additional aromas to the process in order to ensure that the wine keeps its delicate flavours and aromas determined by its landscape.
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Words: Rita-Mari Ludike