Top 10 Shakespearean drinks

Malmsey

Clarence_MalmseyA rich, sweet, fortified wine which in the 16th Century originated in Greece. In later centuries Malmsey became associated with Madeira, but not in Shakespeare’s time.

Malmsey is mentioned in Love’s Labours Lost and in Henry IV Part 2, but its most infamous mention is in Richard III.

Richard orders the execution of his brother The Duke of Clarence, who had plotted against him with the Lancastrians.

The possibly mythical drowning is rehearsed in the play, when the assassins hatch a plan to drown the Duke in a butt of the wine: “Take him on the costard with the hilts of thy sword, and then throw him into the malmsey-butt in the next room”.

Already incarcerated in the Tower of London, Clarence innocently asks for a cup of wine, and one of the murderers responds: “You shall have wine enough, my lord, anon”.

 

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