Top 10 ‘medicinal’ drinks


Pea green herbal liqueur Chartreuse has been made by Carthusian monks since 1737 following instructions set out in a manuscript nicknamed “the elixir of long life” delivered by François Annibal d’Estrées, marshal of King’s Henri IV artillery, to a monastery outside Paris in 1605. The recipe was finally turned into a tonic by Frère Jerome Maubec in 1737, when it was sent to La Grande Chartreuse monastery in the Chartreuse mountains north of Grenoble.

The drink is composed of 130 herbs, flowers and plants that are macerated in alcohol and steeped for eight hours into a tonic. Chartreuse soon grew in popularity and was often used for enjoyment rather than as a medicine. Noticing this trend, the monks adapted the recipe in 1764 to make a milder drink now known as Green Chartreuse. Today, the elixir is still made by a pair of monks at La Grande Chartreuse following the ancient recipe.

Meanwhile, Scandinavian spirit Aquavit, meaning “water of life,” has been made from caraway seeds since the 15th century and is known as an antibacterial. In the Middle Ages, there were reports of dead people rising back to life after a glass of Aquavit was poured down their throats. Today, doctors routinely prescribe aquavit as medicine in Denmark.

4 Responses to “Top 10 ‘medicinal’ drinks”

  1. Mark Wilson says:

    The french Tonic Wine and precursor to Pembertons coca wine was called Vin Mariani.

  2. Suresh Chander Pathak says:

    I want the herbal combination formulae of making rum/gin/whisky or brandy in powder form could be diluted in water for human use as a harmless medical supplement. How & what ratio of this combination can be used safely? Will this formulae carry health,vigour & vitality without leaving a harmful effects?

  3. Edward Lodge says:

    This is a fantastic article! I work with natural medicine and distil my own spirits for tincturing etc. So this article was very interesting and inspiring for me. Also I think it’s great for anyone to learn the history and origins of these iconic drinks in our modern culture. Thanks for publishing!

  4. Anthony Lee says:

    Very interesting read . Thanks for this information. I look forward to more interesting updates as I’m looking into these products which could be in support of my sciatica nerves pain/health.

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