The story of whiskey stretches back hundreds of years and encircles the globe, but if you trace whiskey’s lineage back to its beginnings, you’ll end up at the very top of Ireland.
People have been making distilled spirits for around 1,500 years. Some of the earliest archeological evidence of spirits distillation has been found in India and the Middle East. These early distillers were using sugar cane, grape juice and other local ingredients. This knowledge then traveled along trade routes. When it reached Ireland, distillers ultimately adapted the basic recipe to work with barley and grain, since they, of course, didn’t have access to sugar cane or grape juice.
The Beginning Of Whiskey
Of all places, why was whiskey able to thrive in this small corner of the world? Why Ireland? Along the rugged north coast, you found the three ingredients which ultimately came to make the whiskey we know today: barley, fresh water, and an industrious spirit. A cottage industry was born around this imported distilling technology and ultimately thrived because of the bounty of barley and nearby rivers to make the first whiskeys.