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Scotland

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eggshaped
312534.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 8:20 am Reply with quote

Question: Traditionally what was the national drink of Scotland?

Forfeit: Whiskey, Tennants Extra, Irn Bru

Answer: Claret


Thanks to the special friendship that Scotland had with France (i.e. mutual hatred of the English) Claret was the national drink of Scotland; way before the distillation of whisky became a commercially viable.

Quote:
I should also add that long before the distillery of whisky became a commercial enterprise the national drink of Scotland was claret. Indeed, at one point of hostilities the English government forbade the import of claret from France. The Scots imported vast quantities into the port of Leith from where my former constituents in the borders made a tidy living by smuggling the liquid into northern England.

~ Sir David Steel

http://www.scottish.parliament.uk/corporate/elu/reports-03/rep03-0223.htm

 
dr.bob
312640.  Tue Apr 08, 2008 10:26 am Reply with quote

I was going to poo-poo the use of the word "traditionally" there but, having had a bit of a poke around, I think we might be on to something Quite Interesting.

Most of the histories of whisky production that I've read seem to agree on the Exchequer Rolls of 1494 as being the first written evidence of the production of Scotch, listing:

Quote:
Eight bolls of malt to Friar John Cor wherewith to make aqua vitae


By contrast, Scottish merchants started importing the choice selection of Bordeaux's finest wines with the signing of the Auld Alliance in 1295. I wonder if it's possible to find earlier written evidence for the import of claret into Scotland than for the production of whisky.

 

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