The best story is the one that’s never been told, and a new book on whiskey history tells just that kind of story.
Whiskey Women: The Untold Story of How Women Saved Bourbon, Scotch & Irish Whiskey (Potomac Books), by Fred Minnick, goes back to the beginnings of distilling and reveals that not only did women have a large role in the emergence of distillation, they actually invented it.
“I had never heard that,” Minnick said. “I couldn’t believe it. I thought the Arabs invented it, but it was Mesopotamian women.”
He also learned through his extensive research –which took him as far away as Ireland – that a number of women in Scotland were actually killed for making something called aquavita, which was basically whiskey.
“They used it as medicine, but that was considered witchcraft,” he said. “If they were selling it for intoxication, they were just fine.” …
Also, be sure to read my profile on the author, which was published last week in LEO Weekly.