Spirits distilled by Mark Ridgwell
- In the 17th century the Governor of Moscow trained a large bear to serve pepper vodka to his guests. If any guest refused their drink, the bear removed their clothes.
- During the 30-years’ war of the 17th century, the British witnessed Dutch soldiers knocking back shots of genever (gin’s predecessor) before going into battle, eventually describing the habit as taking ‘Dutch courage’.
- Upon Nelson’s death, at the battle of Trafalgar, his body was placed in a barrel of rum. During the voyage home, the sailors drilled holes through the wood and drank the rum, giving rise to the British naval term for rum, ‘Nelson’s blood’.
- Although Prohibition was repealed in 1933, two-thirds of Kentucky remains dry, as does the town of Lynchburg in Tennessee, home of Jack Daniel’s.
- In 1387, it is told that Charles the Bad, King of Navarre, a region on the Atlantic coast that straddled the Pyrenees, died in agony when his sheets, soaked with the local eaux-de-vie, caught fire.
- During the first half of the twentieth century, tequila was thought of as a drink for nonconforming adventurers but in the 1950s a cocktail named the Margarita became popular in the Los Angeles area and demand for the drink increased.
- The best way to learn more about the exciting world of spirits is to read Spirits distilled by Mark Ridgwell.
Spirits distilled by Mark Ridgwell is a comprehensive guide to all of the major spirit categories, designed to educate and inform those whose vocation or hobby is spirits.
After taking the reader through the principles of distillation to a discussion on how to taste spirits, Ridgwell reveals the history and legends behind vodka, gin, tequila, rum, brandies, liqueurs, eaux-de-vie, flavoured white spirits and the entire range of whisk(e)ys. The quizzes at the end of each chapter are a fun and useful way of understanding better the spirits they enjoy. An essential book that belongs on the reference shelf of everyone who works with or enjoys spirits, Spirits distilled is a classic in the making.
About the author
Mark Ridgwell has worked with many of the world’s leading spirit companies, including Smirnoff, Hennessy, J&B Rare, Ballantines, Beefeater, Courvoisier, Canadian Club, Bols and Hiram Walker Liqueurs. The pinnacle of his corporate career saw him taking Maker’s Mark out of America and introducing it to the rest of the world.
In 1999 Mark left the corporate world and set up Taste and Flavour, a network of renowned speakers who are passionate about spirits and keen to share their knowledge with enthusiasts and professionals alike. Mark worked with the Wine and Spirit Education Trust to create the Level 2 Certificate in Spirits, now called the Level 1 Award in Spirits, the only globally recognized vocational qualification relating to spirits and liqueurs.
An uncorrected PDF proof is available for review. Mark Ridgwell is willing to give interviews. For more information please contact Catherine Holdsworth: firstname.lastname@example.org; 01865 514888.