01 August 2007

Beyond Mare Atlanticum

Ex scrinio Marcus Crapularius, scriptor de aqua vitae:

Here at Roma Aeterna, we still find it hard to believe that there are lands across the northern sea, and that these lands are actually inhabited. Must be a hardy bunch of barbarians, and clever as well, for they make a wonderful spirit. The land is called America, or so my servants tell me, and the place this wonderful spirit comes from is Kentucky. (Who knew that Greeks taught them to spell?) The wide, clear bottle is labeled WOODFORD RESERVE, or reconditus silva vadum in our civilized tongue. Unlike the Caledonians, these Americans make a sweet, robust, almost viscous drink. Redolent of vanilla and butterscotch, with a huge caramel chewiness, Woodford Reserve is nothing short of spectacular. My fleet-footed Ganymede earned his keep, constantly refilling my cup with this luscious beverage. They have a (relatively speaking) famous horse race over there, in Kentucky, without chariots (imagine!), and this aqua vitae is their preferred tipple. Not that I blame them. If I were stuck in their wilderness, so far from civilization, I would drink myself into a stupor, and beg Almighty Jove for his forgiveness. Fortunately, I have no need to leave my villa, as these Americans are navigators as well, and they ship their wares to Ostia, where the mercatores get their hands on them. My servants have been told to be on the lookout for more of this Kentucky spirit!

Id. Aug.

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