Tag Archives: Madeira

Captain Henry Morgan Didn’t Drink Rum

In the 1600s the namesake of Captain Morgan Spiced Rum sailed all over the Caribbean pirating & plundering Spanish settlements. Given a mandate from the British crown Captain Henry Morgan was technically a privateer—although he made a living doing very piratey things.

Since the Spanish wine industry convinced the crown to outlaw exports of liquor from its colonies, Spanish settlements in Central & South America never got around to making rum like the British Colonies did. So Captain Morgan & anyone raiding Spanish settlements predominantly consumed what they had on hand: Madeira, Wine, & Brandy.

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Vermouth?

Have you ever wondered what exactly IS vermouth? Well, first off it is a fortified wine. This means that it has had some spirit—generally brandy—added to it to bring its alcohol content up to around 16%. Common fortified wines include: Port, Sherry, Madeira, and Lillet Blanc.

Vermouth differs from these other fortified wines as an assortment of herbs and spices are added—along with the Brandy—to a white wine in order to imbue it with a vibrant bouquet of flavors.

Those familiar with Manhattans and Martinis may note that Vermouths are commonly divided up into sweet and dry varieties. Sweet Vermouth comes from sweetening and coloring a Dry Vermouth with caramel.

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Drink Your Wheaties

Like most of America’s early presidents John Quincy Adams was partial to drinking frequently, and well. After taste-testing 14 different Madeiras (a strong fortified wine popular in the early days of our republic) he evidently correctly identified 11 of them!

But wine was not all that our 16th head of state enjoyed. President John Quincy Adams liked to start his mornings with Hard Cider.

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