Brandy
(872 words)

The first “burning water” (Latin: aqua ardens) was made from heated wine in the 11th century, probably at Salerno. During the 12th and 13th centuries, the art of distillation became known in alchemist circles across Europe and Asia (Alchemy). Brandy, as a secret elixir, was thought to be the quintessence of wine, and hence life force itself (Latin spiritus), and it was regarded as a fountain of youth and remedy against all illnesses (Latin, aqua vitae, “water of life”). Commercial production began around 1320 in Germany, restricted to apothecaries with a special privil…

Cite this page
Spode, Hasso, “Brandy”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 23 September 2018 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_017765>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20160907



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