Top 10 Shakespearean drinks

Four hundred years after the Bard hung up his pen for the last time and drained his final glass, we look back at the drinks mentioned in his plays, and what he and his contemporaries would have been using to toast their dramatic success.

shakespeareWilliam Shakespeare died 400 years ago this year with the month of his demise given as either April or May, so it’s a chance to reflect on aspects of his legacy and the times in which he lived.

The past, they say, is a different country – they do things differently there. That’s certainly true of drinks. Many names have changed, fashions have evolved, and even if the names remain, the styles have developed into very different things.

Each of Shakespeare’s 38 plays has at least one mention of alcoholic drinks, so they’re deeply embedded in his writings. A character’s choice of drinks will often be an indicator of their social position or character, and also of the fashions and practices of the age.

Tea and coffee were yet to arrive in Britain, and water was a health risk, so alcoholic drinks were ubiquitous.

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