On this day 1587…Drake steals King Philip’s Sherry

On this day in 1587 English privateer Sir Francis Drake sailed into Cadiz, “singed King Philip’s beard” and stole his Sherry.

Battle takes placeUsing fire ships he destroyed nearly 30 vessels from the growing Spanish Armada, delaying the proposed invasion until the following year (which Drake defeated as well).

While simultaneously looting the wharfs, Drake’s men pillaged some 3,000 butts of Sherry which they took back in triumph back to England to the court of Elizabeth I. It is said to have quickly become a firm favourite of the courtiers. The full story is told in our Top 10 nautical drinking traditions.

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