Top 10 revolutionary drinks

A dram for Bonnie Prince Charlie

The ’45 rebellion comes to an end on Culloden Moor

Bonnie Prince Charlie is an example of a revolutionary inspiring present day drinks companies.

The story of the dashing prince returning to reclaim the Stuart throne (lost in the previous story) only to be defeated on Culloden Moor and forced to flee “over the sea to Skye”, is the stuff of myth, adventure, Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped and overall Highland romanticism.

His death in Rome in 1788, exiled and alcoholic is less remembered.

However, it’s the story that counts and they don’t come much better hence the reason behind the now discontinued bottling of the “Dearly Departed” blend that Glenfiddich once ran.

Furthermore, the legend also stands that the prince bequeathed his own private eau de vie recipe to the MacKinnon family as thanks for their service and aiding his escape.

That recipe went on to make Drambuie – although, like all stories, it may just be that.

What is more likely, however, is that the wild highlanders making up Charlie’s army were no strangers to the local uisge beatha, soon to carve its own niche as a famous Scottish export.

4 Responses to “Top 10 revolutionary drinks”

  1. Caryl Panman says:

    A footnote to Anarchists and Bolsheviks: According to Sebag Montefiori, when the Revolutionaries took over the Winter Palace, they were protected by a battalion of their own army – who promptly got drunk on the wonderful wine they found in its well-stocked cellars. Another battalion was brought in, and by the next day they were all drunk too. Lenin decided he couldn’t trust his army any more, and called in the Fire Brigade. Who also got drunk. So he decided the only solution was to smash all the bottles, and rivers of the best wine in the world flowed through the streets of St Petersburg, to the huge enjoyment of its populace.

  2. Margaret Rand says:

    Water, too: the Jacobite toast to the king was (supposedly) made holding the glass over a bowl of water – and was thus to ‘the king over the water’, rather than to King George.

  3. Loosely related to revolution, Napoleon’s army supposedly celebrated their Prussian victory in 1806 with a Berliner Weisse. A Berliner Weisse is a delicious tart wheat beer that was popular in the region at the time and often considered beers equivalent to Champagne.

  4. ken gargett says:

    One from Down Under, the Rum Rebellion of 1808 saw Governor Bligh (of Bounty fame), Governor of NSW, deposed by the NSW Corps, which were seen to be closely associated with wealthy landowner, John Macarthur. The Corps ruled NSW till the arrival of Lachlan Macquarie in 1810, at which time the Corps was sent home and replaced by the 73th Regiment of the Foot. Bligh had been the fourth Governor of NSW. It might well be apocryphal but I remember as a schoolkid how we were all told that Bligh was found cowering under his bed when the Corps came looking.
    Bligh had earnt the displeasure of the Corps shortly after arriving when he used the Colony’s stores as relief for farmers who had been affected by flooding. The Corps had been earning a nice profit by trading said stores prior to this.
    He was also determined to prevent spirits being used for barter (hence how the name, ‘Rum Rebellion’ came to be associated with this event in Australian history, though it was not so labelled until many years later). There were numerous other reasons also why he and the Corps fell out. Bligh prevented Macarthur from providing the Corps with extensive amounts of rum cheaply. And prevented the importation of illegal stills.
    Rum actually played only a small role in the Rebellion but the tag stuck.
    KBG

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